11 answers

4 Year Old Limping - No Injury

Hi Moms,
My 4 year old boy has been limping for over 2 weeks now. He has not complained of any pain. We took him to the GP who said she can see nothing wrong and referred us to an orthopedic doctor. Has anyone experienced something similar? Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We just spent a week at Children's Hospital because in the midst of a fever of 104 he started to complain that his leg hurt (this is about 1 month after the limp started). It turns out to be either osteomyelitis, a bacterial infection of the bone, or CRMO, a longer term inflammation that is not due to infection. If a month of antibiotics don't clear things up, it is CRMO.

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It sounds like growing pains. I know you said he isn't complaining about pain but it doesn't exactly manifest itself as pain. I was so active as a child it was plenty painful in the evening but it always started off as stiffness.

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Is he being silly? I know 2 weeks is a long time to be silly, but I remember my eldest daughter doing that, she almost walked with a gallop. She had just figured out she could do it, and do it well, so she insisted on walking everywhere like that. What is he wears shoes? That kind of forces them to walk flat footed, one foot in front of the other. I'd keep an eye on it, and if it persists, get a second opinion.

5 moms found this helpful

ooh my...i would LIKE to say "growing pains" as there are times when the bones grow faster than the muscles and it hurts...but he's not complaining of pain...

I would love to hear what the orthopedist says - is it just one leg/foot or both? Like a splinter you can't see? I wonder if he bruised his foot - like my girl friend's son did in soccer - no visible signs of distress - no bruising, etc. but for about 3 weeks he limped and the foot HURT him...the ortho said (at 2 weeks) that he bruised the bone and muscle and it while there is no permanent damage - it hurts and is healing...

Hopefully - it's just like that - he was playing, hit something hard where there were no outside visible trauma and it's healing..
GOOD LUCK!

5 moms found this helpful

It sounds like growing pains. I know you said he isn't complaining about pain but it doesn't exactly manifest itself as pain. I was so active as a child it was plenty painful in the evening but it always started off as stiffness.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter work up one day saying "bobo" and pointing to her knee... later I noticed that one knee was just a little bigger then the other, but their was really no other signs of anything. I did take her to the doc, who sent us to the hospital for x-rays... they found her knee was swallen, but for no real reason. We ended up visiting 2 more doctors before meeting Dr Toth (Rheumatologist). She sent my daughter for blood work and signs of inflammation was found in her blood. This all happened about 4 1/2 years ago - she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA).

We did kinda question before that point if something was wrong, but it was just us asking questions like "why does her brother (15 mo younger) .... when she can't" and usually we were told kids develope different - don't compare them. After she was diagnosed we were told she didn't develope correctly because it hurt to much to do the things we were questioning her not doing. But she never told us it hurt, cause it was all she knew... she had always been in pain, so her mind looked at the pain a normal which now makes her have a higher pain tolerance. Which can suck sometimes... she doesn't know she has an ear infection till they are about to rupture and we have a hard time getting her to tell us when things hurt even now at 7 yrs old.

If he is limping keep after the doctors... make sure you get a reason. Something isn't "right" - make sure you know what it is so that you can help the fix it.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

The first thing I thought was a hidden splinter too, or something embedded in his foot. I'm sure you've monkeyed the heck out of him to figure it out :) Pressing on the bottom of his foot pad/heel? If he didn't have it before, sounds like a little hitch in his get-along that will hopefully pass sooner than later!

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Has he had an xray? Because my daughter had a hairline fracture. Her leg looked fine, no bruising or redness or swelling...but it was fractured.

1 mom found this helpful

Well here's possibly a worst-case scenario, and it's not that bad. One of my brothers had a mystery limp when he was 5. My parents dismissed it because my older sister had hip checked him into a door so they thought it was an injury but it lingered. He was diagnosed with some kind of genetic hip deformity - one of his hips was not as well formed as the other and one was starting to get higher than the other, hence the limp.

His treatment included being in the hospital in traction with weights on his legs for a few weeks, then being casted and wearing a brace that kept his legs splayed, knees apart, for 5 years. He got out of his braces in 6th grade and other than some arthritis, has been fine since but expects to have some stiffness and pain as he ages and may need surgery.

The braces were an alternative to surgery - I think that looking back, my parents would have opted for surgery instead of years of braces.

Hopefully it's nothing, but an ortho consult will tell your for sure. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My then 2 3/4 yo started limping but within a few days was unable to walk at all. (She did have pain) Turned out she had Lymes Disease. She was on antibiotic for 28 days and has been fine ever since. She is now 13yo.

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