Bow legs


These guidelines have been produced to guide clinical decision making for general practitioners (GPs). They are not strict protocols. Clinical common-sense should be applied at all times. These clinical guidelines should never be relied on as a substitute for proper assessment with respect to the particular circumstances of each case and the needs of each patient. Clinicians should also consider the local skill level available and their local area policies before following any guideline.



Bow legs are part of the normal developmental pattern with infants having bow legs at birth before straightening before the age of 3 years, developing knock knees until the more adult alignment develops at about 7 years of age.

Pathological causes of bow legs include vitamin D deficiency, congenital disorders, Blount Disease, skeletal dysplasia, chronic renal disease and previous injury/illness affecting growth unilaterally.

For current guidelines on assessment, management and referral guidelines on bow legs, visit HealthPathways WA

How to refer

  • Routine non-urgent referrals from a GP or a Consultant are made via the Central Referral Service
  • Routine non-urgent referrals from private hospitals are made via the PCH Referral Office
  • Urgent referrals (less than seven days) are made via the PCH Referral Office. Please call PCH Switch on 6456 2222 to discuss referral with the relevant speciality registrar.  

Reviewer/Team: Dr Kate Stannage, PCH Last reviewed: Aug 2021

Review date: Aug 2024
Endorsed by:

CPAC Date:  Aug 2021

This document can be made available in alternative formats on request for a person with a disability.

Referring service

Useful resources