Hi, Iím a college student in South Korea and I want to write about my bowlegs correction experience! Iíve had bowlegs since childhood and they were always a factor that really lowered my self-esteem. I constantly forced myself to walk with my feet inward (so that my bowlegs wouldnít be so emphasized), hesitated to wear shorts or skirts and whenever I was standing I crossed my legs so people wouldnít notice that my legs were different. Being so stressed out, I did a lot of research about various known methods for bowlegs correction and got to know Dr. Donghoon Lee at Bundang CHA Hospital near Seoul. We discovered that my bowlegs were due to angular deformity, and decided on High Tibial Osteotomy (HTO) for correction.
The surgery was in September, 2011. I went under general anesthesia, and when I woke up after the surgery, the level of pain was pretty bad. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say it was about 8 to 9, so they gave me a lot of painkillers. Over the next few days, the pain gradually went away and although I couldnít see my legs for a while (because of the bandages), when they removed the bandages, I was delighted to see that my legs were straight. Overall, I spent about a week in the hospital and went home on crutches. I did a lot of exercise (especially my quads, since they were the most important in being able to walk naturally) and after staying home for a week, I was able to walk without crutches! It wasnít 100% natural and I was very slow, but I didnít need to hold on to anything (except when I went down stairs). So, hereís a mini-timeline on my rehabilitation!
1 week after surgery: walk with crutches
2 weeks after surgery: walk awkwardly & slowly without crutches
4 weeks after surgery: walk naturally, but not run
6 weeks after surgery: wear high heels (7cm)
8 weeks after surgery: jog/run short distances
12 weeks after surgery: sprint, play various sports (basketball, soccer) but not too much
One thing I bet a lot of women (including me) worry about are the scars that result from the surgery. If you look at the after photo I uploaded, thereís tape on the locations with scars. The uppermost scar is about 2. 5 cm long, and the two lower scars are about 1 cm long. Thereís also another tiny one on the inside part of the leg (you canít see it in the photo), thatís about 5 mm long. All of them are about 5 mm wide. Since a lot of time has passed since the operation, my scars seem to have faded away a lot, but that doesnít mean you canít see them. Personally, though, although I was really stressed out about them at first, eventually I forgot about them and decided to focus on the benefits the surgery gave me. I gained confidence, my legs look longer and prettier and I no longer have to force myself to walk or stand a certain way thatís uncomfortable! Besides, people barely even notice the scars. Some of my friends thought they were just bruises.
Generally, Iím completely satisfied with my choice and am thankful for the technology that allowed the operation. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!