“When do you need the surgery for bowlegs?”
Bowlegs (Varus knees) that reach these severe conditions need to get operated:
1. The two knees are bowed or curved outwards (curved out) resulting to unequal length.
This causes the patient to walk wobbly because the lengths of the two legs are unequal. The wear on the shoe soles are also unequal. When a patient is wobbly walking for a distance or standing for a long time, it will result in backache. The patient is usually unaware that the chronic backache is caused by bowlegs.
2. The chronic knee pain increases year by year, especially the inner side of the knees
The pain generally starts in one leg first. Later on, the other leg will also feel the pain. The doctors normally prescribe painkillers though giving only temporary relief. Being neglected for some time, when walking long distances, wearing high-heeled shoes, doing or playing sports that require long walks, giving lots of compression on legs and knees, the knees will be painful again or it can even get worse.
3. Degree of Bowing of Knees increases year by year
Some patients came to see the doctor after observing that in the past year there was bowing on their left knee though they have not experienced any pain yet. The following year, the right knee starts to curve outwards and the knee has severe and unbearable pain that they really need to see the doctor right away. Why is that so? This is because when the knee starts bow, though painless, the patient will adjust their balance when walking. What they usually do is shift the body weight to another leg until the cartilage of the unaffected knee breaks down and wears away, resulting to that knee to start curving, too. At this stage, the cartilage is inflamed and swollen. The weight shifting is not possible anymore since both legs are of different lengths; one leg is shorter than the other one. The operation will be carried out on the less bowed knee that has more pain.
4. The angle width of the curving outward
People with normal legs (measured from the x-ray film) is around 0-3degrees, while the one with bowlegs the curve can be from 8-10 degrees. The wider the angle of the curve is, the more difficult it is to walk, thus, making the knee and ankle pain even more severe. The operation to correct the knee angle width to bring it back to normal is essential. If your knee is curving outwards and have at least one of the above symptoms, you need to go and see the specialist doctor to correct the problem before it is too late. Otherwise, you might need to use an artificial kneecap in the future.
Example of the patients that have the operation to correct bowlegs, using MHTO techniques on the two legs at the same time.
Note : Actual photos (Credit to our patients)
The Drawback of having bowlegs Part 1
When do you need surgery for bowlegs? Part 2
Varus knee (bow-legged) correction in young adults Part 3
Types of Bowlegs and Operation Methods to Cure Part 4
The operation to correct bowlegs, knock-knees Part 5