Dr Umaru Habila, Chief Consultant and Associate Professor, Orthopedic and Trauma Unit, National Hospital, Abuja, has advised parents to place their bow-legged children on healthy diets and expose them to sunlight to correct the deformity.
The physician, who gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the exposure of the deformed bowleg to sunlights, would help “the child receive vitamin D, essential for healthy bones, and helps the body absorb calcium.”
According to him, knocked knees, popularly known as ‘K-leg and bow legs’ are a natural development in children as they grow up.
He, however, explained that some conditions, such as bone malformations or deficiency of some vital mineral and nutrients might also contribute to bow or knocked knees in children.
“But there are some aberrations, and the problem could set up in between the normal development.”
“Like in the case of a child who develops K-leg at the age of one year and some months, it is abnormal, they are supposed to have a bit of bowleg.”
“These could be rickets most likely the bone is soft because of lack of some minerals.”
“So, what is to be done is to take samples of his blood, check for his calcium level and some of the elements in his blood. That one can give us some information, whether he lacks something or not.”
“X-ray will also give us how good the bone is and tell us if something is wrong.”
He advised that such children should be administered calcium, vitamin D, protein, minerals and vegetables and other healthy diets to gradually straighten the bones, as well as undergo regular medical check-ups.
The expert added that babies older than three years with bow-legs and difficulty walking might undergo surgical interventions and other management procedures to correct the deformities.
He further disclosed that some children, who had difficulty absorbing calcium after numerous treatments, should undergo a series of tests to ascertain the level and treated appropriately to address the situation.
“Unfortunately, some of them may have innate problems that they cannot absorb some of the calcium despite what we give.”
“So in those instances, we need a special test to detect that they are unable to detect calcium and they are given the calcium to bypass their absorption difficulty and are treated differently from the others.”
Umaru also advised parents to regularly feed their children with vegetables, calcium, protein such as milk, fish, meat and other nutritional value foods to promote their growth and development.