In adults, bowlegs do not resolve spontaneously, but rather tend to worsen as arthritis leads to further malalignment. Bowlegs in adults is an independent risk factor for knee joint degeneration and pain.
Multiple studies have shown that correction of bowlegs prior to the onset of end-stage arthritis can delay or prevent the need for total knee replacement.
In adults, bowing of the legs can be the result of osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis of the knees. This condition can wear away the cartilage and surrounding bone of the knee joint.
If the wear is more on the inner side of the knee joint, a bow-legged deformity may develop.