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What are bowed legs?

Bowed legs is a condition where the legs bend outwards around or below the knees, even when the ankles are together. It occurs when the growth plate near the inside of the knee slows down or stops making new bone while the growth plate near the outside continues to grow normally, giving a bowed appearance to the legs.

Bowed legs are a natural part of a child’s development, typically around two years old. In some children, the condition worsens or develops in later childhood. However, many factors, such as the child’s nutrition, health, and lack of vitamin D, can influence the condition.

What issues do children with bowed legs face?


Bowed legs hinder growth and limit mobility because of pain, sometimes causing problems with the spine, nerves, urinary tract, and reproductive system.


Children often experience discrimination, leading to poor self-confidence and isolation.


Lack of mobility makes it hard for children to participate in community life, play with friends, or even consistently attend school.

How does bowed legs surgery change a child’s life?

  • Legs are straightened and can grow normally.
  • Mobility improves so children can run, play, walk pain-free, and complete school, which leads to more opportunities.
  • Children experience hope as they are accepted into community life.

Miracles happen every day at Beit CURE Children’s Hospital of Zambia


Like most boys, Plasdus likes to be active and play with friends, in spite of his painful bowed leg condition. He was referred to Beit CURE and his mom jumped at the chance to help her son. Surgery to straighten his leg was a success and he’s back to playing!

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CURE Zambia’s mission is to provide every child living with a disability the physical, emotional, and spiritual care they need to heal. If you have questions about becoming a patient or a partner with CURE, please contact us.