Bowed legs - Definition

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Bowed legs, or genu varum, corresponds to the position of the legs in an arc, giving an appearance suggestive of the number 0. At birth, children are bowlegged, but the posture recovers on its own as the child grows up, usually after two years. Sometimes, however, the limbs are deformed and wearing orthotics in children in cases of marked deformation can correct some of the natural position of the knees. In adults, genu varum is an acquired pathology and is more common in overweight people. Development of osteoarthritis of the knee, especially the inner part between the tibia and the femur, is favored by this posture. Surgery may be considered in adults: this is called a realignment osteotomy where part of the bone is removed or added to compensate for the gap.