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Dear Doctor

Question of the Month

August 2019


Question:

My son is 20 months now. He has Rickets, and started medication one month ago. His legs are bended like bow legs and walks sideways. Will his legs become straight? Will he need any therapy? Will walking and playing affect his bowed legs to be bowed more?

- Sravani - India (Parent)


Answer:

Hello, and thank you for your question. It sounds like your son has nutritional rickets, but he may also have a genetic form of rickets. It is important to know which because it affects the medications that will properly treat your son. This can be diagnosed by an endocrinologist, or doctor who specializes in hormones and how they affect our body. Regarding the bone changes from the rickets, usually treating the medical reason for the rickets will lead to correction of the deformed bones. The problem with bones is that they grow slowly and these changes take time. Correction also depends on how bowed the legs are to start with. I would have patience and let the medications work but make sure a doctor follows your son over time. I would continue to encourage your son to play like any other child as long as he is comfortable. This will not worsen the bowing, and may actually help as play encourages muscle growth which can help straighten curved bones. I hope that this helps!

- Philip Nowicki, MD


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