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Treating bow legs?

I have bow legs, can any exercise or leg exercises help straighten them or improve them?

Female | 50 years old

6 Answers

Unfortunately bow legs are only fixed/treated with surgery to the bones of the lower legs. The tibia (shin bone) has a normal curve and you just have more of that. A lot of shoes or custom orthosis can help if you are having ankle, knee or foot pain from the bow legs. But there is nothing that can straighten them without surgery
Unfortunately, once you are past childhood this is not an easy issue to treat. During childhood, braces are usually worn while the bones are still growing and forming to treat an issue like this. You can strengthen and build muscles in certain areas of your legs to try to balance things out however, they will probably not fully straighten.
The type of surgery to correct an abnormal bone angle in a long bone, such as your tibia, is arduous and extensive, and may include breaking the bone for repositioning, or even an Ilizarov External fixation device for slow manipulation of the angle of the bone. You need to find out what level of pathology is causing your 'bow legs.' (Is it coming from a scliosis of your spine, a problem in the thigh or Femur, is it stemming from the knee or the Tibia? Is it from your ankle?). But in all truth, I do not believe this problem is worth the ordeal of the type of surgery that is required, or the long recovery process. But if you are in a severe malalignment and are having severe pain, you should see a foot and ankle surgeon for evaluation and potential treatment.
The answer to your question is difficult because of it needs to be a diagnosis as to what caused the bowed legs. You need to check with a foot and ankle surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon for the exact diagnosis and then physical therapy and strengthening should be helpful. Also, it might be helpful to have some custom made foot orthotics to control your walking, which would probably help the legs.

Thank you,

Dr. Gorman
It's 45 years too late to fix this problem. That bus has left the station. Only major leg surgery is an option and not a good one
"Bow legs" are usually a structural positioning of the bones that creates a "bowed" appearance. This is not typically something that can be changed with exercises. But, you need to be properly evaluated.