Bandy-Legs, a vernacular expression applied to distorted or crooked legs. In some cases this is a natural defect in the birth, though it may more frequently be ascribed to an improper treatment of infants, by indolent or officious purses. The former will sometimes suffer an infant, scarcely twelve months old, to stand for hours on its legs, while confined in a chair, or an absurd machinery, contrived for walking : the latter are too impatient to give early specimens of a child's vigour, and daily try experiments with its tender legs, before they are able to sustain the weight of the body.
When an infant is born with bandy-legs, the timely and judicious use of the bandage may, by imperceptible degrees, correct this defect ; but it requires more patience and perseverance than people in general are able or disposed to be-stow. Hence we cannot suppress a remark made by the ingenious Lev ret, that this species of neglect is attended with more important consequences to the female than the male sex : for, as deformities of the lower extremities are very frequently connected with similar mal-conformations of thos<3 bones which form the waist, we may hence account for the repeated abortions in many mothers who pay the strictest attention to diet, and every other circumstance, during the period of gestation.
This unfortunate deformity, however, cannot be easily remedied after the child has arrived at a certain age; and we believe all attempts would be fruitless, and even hurtful, after the sixth or seventh year: yet there are instances on record, where Nature, unassisted by art, has occasionally performed a cure. Dr. Unzer relates the case of a young man, who was born and reared with legs so distorted, that he was obliged to walk on the sides of his feet and heels ; but during his apprenticeship with a taylor, sitting continually with crossed legs, he remarked that his lower extremities began gradually to recover their natural direction, and. that his ancles in particular spontaneously returned to their proper position-. He at length escaped' from his master, entered on the list of warriors, and thus gave the most com hiring proof of the soundness of his limbs.