Limb deformities refer to a problem with the legs (most common) or arms. They may be present at birth or develop during infancy or childhood. However, an accident or injury also can cause a temporary or permanent limb deformity. A limb deformity due to an injury requires a different treatment approach than one that occurs during development.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about treatment for limb deformities in Arizona, schedule a consultation with an orthopedic doctor at Dignity Health. For the services you need, Find a Doctor near you today.
Symptoms of Limb Deformities
The most common sign of a limb deformity is that it looks abnormal — or it may even be missing. However, sometimes the appearance of a limb deformity is so subtle only a doctor can see it. Pediatricians usually evaluate a child’s limbs during routine wellness checkups.
The most common signs of a limb deformity are:
- Difference in length between one leg and the other
- Legs that bow outward when standing, instead of appearing straight
- Abnormal curvature of one lower leg
- Knock knees — knees touch while standing, but the ankles do not
- Missing limb
- Abnormally shaped limb
If you or your child have one or more of these symptoms, speak with a doctor at Dignity Health to receive a diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.
Causes of Limb Deformities
Things that can cause a limb deformity include:
- Nutritional deficiencies (such as a lack of vitamin D)
- Growth plate injuries of the bone
- Certain types of dwarfism
- High-impact injuries (such as a sports injury or vehicle accident)
Treatment of Limb Deformities at Dignity Health
Treatment and prevention options depend on the cause of the limb deformity. For example, if the legs are bowed due to rickets — a disease caused by a lack of vitamin D — then the primary treatment may be supplementing the child’s diet. If the limb deformity results from an injury to the growth plate of the bone, then the child may need one or more surgeries. Early diagnosis of limb deformities is critical to achieve the best treatment results.
It may be possible to prevent certain types of limb deformities by:
- Ensuring children receive enough nutrients, potentially through a multivitamin
- Getting regular wellness checkups that include examination of your child’s limbs
- Seeking prompt medical attention for any injuries to the arms or legs
For complete orthopedic care, visit one of these Dignity Health hospitals in Arizona:
Dignity Health is dedicated to complete care, including diagnosis and treatment, for a wide range of limb deformities in Arizona, as part of our orthopedic services.