That a baby is born without deformities is no reason to believe that the odds are over, as ANGELA ONWUZOO reports cases of children who developed bow legs and knock-knees at the time they ought to take their first steps
Mrs. Eucharia Agbaje is happy with the growth and development of her six children except one, Michelle, who is struggling to walk because of her bow legs.
The Delta State indigene said Michelle, a twin, was born in 2015 without any deformity, but she cannot explain why the girl later developed bow legs after the age of two.
Different medications have been administered for the legs to straighten, all to no avail.
The business woman said her daughter’s bow legs have become a source of concern to the family as the bowing of the legs is becoming worse as grows older, with the girl complaining of pain at all times.
Sharing her experience with PUNCH HealthWise, Mrs. Agbaje said, “Michelle and her twin sister, Mirabel, were born five years ago without any deformity or health issues. But after the age of two, I started noticing a change in the way they walk, unlike their older siblings.
“Mirabel developed knock-knees, while Michelle’s legs began to curve outward. But after giving Mirabel cod liver oil for some months, the legs got straightened. I did the same for Michelle, but instead of the legs to straighten, they kept on curving outward.
“When she was three, I took her to a private hospital where the doctor examined her and told me that her bones were okay and that her legs would straighten in no distant time.
“But she is now over five years old and the legs are still the same. I am not happy seeing her walk with difficulty and in pain. She complains about pain each time she walks a long distance. I don’t know how long this will continue.”
The food vendor, who is in her 40s, said that little Michelle was also not keeping quiet over her condition as she always prays to God to heal her.
“Every morning, she prays that her legs will be like that of her siblings. She is beginning to feel bad about the legs. Sometimes, she stays indoors while her twin sister and other siblings go out to play. Her condition is really stealing my joy,” she narrated.
Experts say bow legs are a condition in which the legs curve outward at an extreme angle at the knees while the child’s feet are together.
Another mother who is also worried is Mrs. Joy Idoga from Benue State who told said that her daughter’s bow legs daily constrain her movement.
Sharing a similar experience with Agbaje, the mother of five recalled that her daughter, Deborah, did not walk early like her other children.
“When she was a year and six months old, she was finding it difficult to walk. We became worried but decided to observe her for a while. But when she started walking, the legs continued to curve outward.
“She is over four years now, yet, there is no improvement. I wanted to take her to the hospital but her father refused. Though he is not a medical doctor, he keeps assuring me that the legs will straighten on their own. I don’t even know the cause.
“Out of my five children, she is the only one that has this challenge. Walking long distances is a problem for her. I am not happy about the whole thing. I’m worried because she is a girl”, she said.
Also Mrs. Gertrude Abeh and other mothers who spoke with our correspondent said they were uncomfortable seeing their children walk in pain without knowing the cause.
Some causes of bow legs pathologic
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon says if a child’s leg is still bowing at the age of two, the likelihood of the child having infantile Blount’s disease or Rckets is greater at this age.
A Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Ahmed Bola, in an interview, told our correspondent that there are different causes of the legs getting bowed, saying the condition is also called angler deformities of the lower limb.
Dr. Bola, who is the Chief Medical Director, General Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, said most of the causes of the bowing of the legs are physiological, adding that the majority of cases might be corrected on their own if they are not excessively bowed.
The orthopaedic surgeon, however, said some causes of bowing of the legs are pathological.
He explained, “In pathology, there are different causes for either bow legs or knock-knees, also called K-legs.
“That is, there are underlying diseases or problems that cause the conditions. The most common one in our environment is Rickets, the lack of Vitamin D.
“A large number of legs are corrected through surgery if the bow leg is as a result of rickets. The patient has to take drugs and when the bone is now strong enough and the bowing has not got corrected, the patient will go for operation to correct it. Also, there is a large number of patients whose bowing of the legs are caused by Blount’s disease. This is also pathological.
“With this one, there is excessive bowing, the legs can really get bad and will require operation to correct.”
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