Bow Leg is also referred to as genu varum. This is a condition in which legs of patients seem bowed-out & knees stay at a wide angle even if ankles are together. This condition is mostly seen in infants due to their confined posture in the mother’s womb. Bowlegs may indicate underlying diseases like Blount’s disease or rickets. Various skeletal problems, tumors & infection can also affect the growth of patient’s leg, sometimes leading to one-sided bow-leggedness. During initial stage, bow-leggedness can be treated with casts or braces to correct deformities of bone. However, if these conservative treatments fail to provide solution, patients should consider bow leg repair surgery as a treatment option.
What is Bow Leg Repair Surgery?
Bow leg surgery is also known as osteotomy. Bow leg condition often causes physical as well as psychological discomfort. Bow leg repair surgery is a type of cosmetic surgery performed with an aim to perfect bent leg bones of little children. It involves either eliminating or adding any piece of bone from impaired joints to displace weight from damaged region to healthier portions of the joint. By undergoing this surgery, not only legs of patients get straight, but no noticeable scarring remains.
Appropriate professional approach & medical care assure nicely-aligned & healthier legs. Bow legs condition may be caused because of following reasons.
Bowed legs are most apparent when a child walks or stands. Below are some of the signs & symptoms of this condition.
- Physiologic Genu Varum - Children under 2 years of age often suffer from this condition. Bowleggedness is simply a natural variation in the appearance of legs. Orthopedic surgeons refer to this kind of bowing as physiologic genu varum. Physiologic genu varum begins to gradually improve at approximately 15 months of age in children & advances as children grow. By ages 4 to 5 years, bowing of leg is naturally corrected & typically legs have a regular appearance.
- Blount’s Disease - This condition can appear in toddlers as well as in adolescents. Blount’s disease results from deformity of growth plate in upper region of the shinbone. Growth plates are situated at the edges of long bones in children. They help persuade shape & length of adult-bone. In children below 2 years of age, it may be difficult to categorize infantile Blount's disease from physiologic genu varum. As the child reaches 3 years of age, however, bowing will worsen & an obvious issue arises which can often be observed under X-ray.
- Rickets - This is a bone disease in children which causes bowleg condition & other deformities of bones. Children with this disease do not get enough of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus, or all of these which are essential for healthy growth of bones. Nutritional rickets is unusual occurring in developed nations because several foods, including milk products, are preserved with Vitamin D. Rickets can also result from a genetic irregularity which does not permit vitamin D to be absorbed precisely. This condition may be inherited.
Good candidates for bow leg repair surgery are assumed to be of vital overall health & not suffering from any underlying degenerative bone diseases. Patients should be less than 65 years of age in order to reap best outcomes.
Diagnosis of bow leg condition will begin with child's thorough physical examination.
- Awkward Walking Pattern - The most common symptom of bowed legs is an awkward walking pattern. Toddlers with bowed legs generally have a natural coordination & are not deferred in learning how to walk. The amount of bowing can be severe & can be alarming to parents & other family members.
- In-toeing – In-toeing or turning in of feet is common in toddlers & it frequently occurs in combination with bowed legs. Generally bowed legs do not cause any pain. A child may, however, trip more often due to bowed legs.
- Discomfort - During adolescence phase, persistent bowing can lead to discomfort in knees, hips & ankles due to anomalous stress that these twisted legs have on joints.
There are different techniques to repair bowed legs & they fall into following two major types.
- Physical Evaluation - When children are below 2 years of age, in healthy condition & have symmetrical bowing in legs, then surgeons will most likely tell them that no additional tests are currently required.
- X-Rays - When doctors observe that one leg is more seriously bowed than the other one, they may recommend X-ray tests. An x-ray test of child's legs in the standing posture can show abnormalities like Blount's disease or rickets. If children are more than 2 years of age at first doctor's visit & have similar amount of bowing in both the legs, an x-ray test will be efficient. Chances of Blount’s disease or rickets is greater at this tender age.
- Blood Tests - If an x-ray report shows signs of rickets disease, then doctors will recommend blood tests to confirm the presence of this disorder.
In most cases, persisting abnormality in patients after childhood does not affect the child’s ability to walk normally. Due to uneven strain & wear on legs & knees however, even moderate manifestations can see an increased onset of arthritis. Patients with bowlegs & genetic potentiality for developing arthritis disease will likely begin having arthritic signs & symptoms near the age of 30 years. Orthopedic surgeons will generally assess for three major factors i.e. pain, instability & alignment of leg. Bow leg repair surgery is indicated if misalignment is a factor. Proper leg alignment will affect entire body in a positive way.
Bow leg surgery is entirely a cosmetic-orthopedic surgical technique that intends to repair the defect of joints in legs so as to fix the appearance as well as functioning. Bow leg repair surgery is done on both legs & consists of following stages.
- Guided Growth - This surgical technique of growth plate ceases growth on healthy portion of tibia which gives the unusual side a chance to catch up, straightening leg with child’s normal growth.
- Tibial Osteotomy - This surgical approach involves cutting tibia just below the knee & modified to repair alignment. Bone is properly held in position while it heals with either an internal plate or an external frame that is arranged on the outside portion of the leg.
After bow leg repair surgery, a cast may be enforced for protecting bone while it heals completely. Crutches may be required for initial weeks & orthopedic surgeons may suggest physical therapy & light exercises to strengthen the leg & recover its range of motion. Surgeons will discuss regarding recovery time & return to normal routine activities with patients. All instructions & guidelines of surgeons must be effectively followed in order to cherish best results.
Bow leg surgery has rare chances of developing complexities. However, it carries risk of certain serious complications as given below.
- Operation Stage - This operation is done simultaneously on both legs of patients. An exclusive orthopedic instrument is put on the leg under the knee. Slightly thin but strong pins composed of safe medical steel are drawn through a bone in lower & upper part of shin. These pins are hooked on device rings thus creating a firm device-bone system. After this, dissection of leg bone is performed & this procedure is known as osteotomy. It is performed with help of a significant orthopedic chisel & which is referred to as corticotomy. The procedure ends in cosmetic stitches. This leg repair operation is generally done either under general or spinal anesthesia.
- Correction Stage - At correction or repair stage, a slow repair of shape of legs are done & which lasts for several days. Most commonly, repair begins on 5th or 7th day following the operation. Time duration is dependent upon the degree of abnormality. Gradual & constant repair procedure allows improving curve exactly up to tenth of a degree. It’s the most accurate technique in the present scenario. The decision to stop repair is made by orthopedic surgeons together with the patient, considering both patient’s yearning & outcome of a computer modeling.
- Fixation Stage - This stage takes considerably longer time than other stages. During consolidation or fixation, repaired bones are held correctly with frames until complete union of bones. This fixation lasts for about one month. Moreover, most patients are mobile during this stage. They can walk without any support or crutches & do not feel any kind of discomfort.
These complications are not frequent & are rarely seen. Orthopedic surgeons in charge of operation will take proper precautions in order to ensure safety of patients.
Bow leg repair surgery repairs asymmetrical alignment of curved legs. It will correct abnormal walking pattern of patients & stress on legs. This surgery promotes healthy leg bones, empowers leg bones & provides high range of motion. In case of any problem, patients must contact the orthopedic surgeon & they will take care of any type of complications.
- Adverse effects of anesthesia
- Severe bone infection
- Blood clot
- Remarkable pain at operation site
- Irritation because of support frame
Merits of Medical Tourism in India for Bow Leg Repair Surgery
India is one of the most loved vacation destinations which hold promise of beautiful sightseeing opportunities. Apart from this, India is also one of the fastest emerging leading medical tourism destinations in the world due to its top-notch & affordable healthcare services. India offers a right mix of medical care assistance & leisure to international medical tourists. Indian orthopedic hospitals have a good reputation & are efficient in catering to foreign patients. Orthopedic surgery such as, bowleg correction surgery has high success rates in India. If someone’s child is advised to undergo bow leg repair surgery then India is the right choice for orthopedic surgeons in India are well-experienced & can handle surgical interventions effortlessly.
Affordable Bow Leg Repair Surgery with Travcure Medical Tourism
Travcure Medical Tourism is known as the best healthcare facilitator in India due to their compassionate & high-quality of services. Travcure staff assists international guests with all types of orthopedic surgeries including bow leg repair surgery. Travcure is associated with a large network of international-quality accredited orthopedic specialty hospitals & clinics spread across major cities of India. Travcure ensures that their global guests get the best available bow leg repair surgery in the most cost-efficient manner. They may also provide additional recuperation packages for patients in case they would like to rejuvenate their body & mind during the recovery period.