7 Year Old Has Muscle Pain on Thigh and Limps, Worried Now

Updated on June 18, 2011
J.L. asks from Newbury Park, CA
13 answers

During the Thanksgiving weekend, my 7 year old boy had two friends coming over to visit and we went to a theme park one day and an aqarium another day. The kids had a great time walking and running around. At the end of the 2nd day, my son complained that his leg hurst a little bit. A few days later, I started to notice that he limps a little bit when he walked. He said it hurts when he walks. I took him to see a family doctor. The doctor checked on his knee and hip joint and they were both very well functional. She also observed his leg skin color and so on. She thought it was just muscle and that no x-ray was even needed. This was last Thursday.

It did get better over the next couple of days. Saturday and Sunday, my boy had two basketball games. He seemed to run fine in the court. However, this morning, he said his legs hurt again, and he started to limp again. I became paranoid and worry if there is anything more than the muscle? Thank you.

He can pin point the pain at the front of his thigh. He said it is like sprained ankle kind of pain.

OK... I took him to see another doctor. The bad thing was that my so is very ticklish, and the doctor didn't really get to check on his leg thoroughly. But since the last doctor (a more patient one) checked on his hip joint and said it was fine, I'd believe his hip joint is fine. The location he complains the pain is not at the groin place, but right in the middle of his thigh, front. So this second doctor also said the biggest chance is that he has some muscle pull, and told him to stop sports such as soccer or basketball (which he both play as a recess/weekend game). He advised to take some children's Advil, nad if no improvement in 2 weeks, a trip to speciliast is needed. Today's doctor also didn't want to give x-ray. He said it is not necessary yet to put the boy under radiation at the groin part of his body...

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So What Happened?

He is doing all fine now. It must be just a muscle micro tear. Thank you all.

Featured Answers


answers from Norfolk on

Could it be growing pains? When my son got them, they could make him limp for awhile sometime, but it would be fine later on.

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answers from Kansas City on

He probably strained the muscles a bit and they started to heal and then they got aggrevated again during basketball. I wouldn't worry but maybe start applying some hot (or is it cold...I always get confused...google it!;) to his leg when he comes home from school. I'm sure in another week or so it will be fine. You might also consider wrapping his leg with ace bandage if he has to have basketball practice or games in the meantime.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

WHERE is the pain... originating from???
Can you or your son.... pinpoint that????
Sometimes for example, if a person has a Hernia... it can cause pain, in the leg.... especially with walking or exertion for a long time.
But, often times, a Hernia can cause no pain at all, as well.

My daughter, for example, would get pain/aches in her leg... after walking around for a long time, or when exerting herself a lot. After Karate sometimes too. When she was physically active....

I just say this, because my daughter had a Hernia in her groin area... and she'd get pain/aches in her leg.... from it.
Hernias... do not 'always' display a 'bulge' in the area....
And yes... kids too, can get Hernias.

For my daughter... the Doc said she was probably born with it... a weakness in the abdominal wall in the groin area. Which is what a Hernia is. THEN.... one day, it can cause pain or start to bulge/protrude through the abdominal wall. She did not display any symptoms, of a Hernia, all this time... until last year, when she was 7 years old.
And then I observed a 'bulge' in her groin area. By then it had developed into a bulge.
But again, not all Hernias protrude.

She had surgery for it, to close the hole. It is fine, she did fine and she even told us she is GLAD she had the surgery, because now she does not have to worry about pain/restricting her activities/the bulge, anymore.

The Doctor... should examine his WHOLE body... not just his leg/hips.

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would take him back to the dr as a precaution and ask for an x-ray. Sounds like it could be growing pains but you she go back to be sure.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

It could be a strained muscle, could happen from simply walking... anyway every time that the muscle is used and if it is not fully healed it will become aggravated again.

If he has another basketball game or practice HEAT the area, this helps "soften" up the muscle and it will move easier for whatever activity he is doing. If he is just sitting around the house then ICE it for 30mins then take off for an hour, then ice again for 30 mins, off for an hour. (talk to a sports doctor or trainer to get something more specific for your son)

In my experience it will take another week of not doing anything to aggravate it for it to be fully back to 100%. If you have a sports family doctor see him/her because they will be able to tell you how to treat this since your son is active in sports.

Side note it could just be growing pains. My daughter is only 4 years old but since she was two whenever she is growing (and eating us out of the house) she gets leg pains where is limps and says it hurts. I have found that when she is more active when growing that her growing pains in her legs seem to be present more then if she is being "lazy."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My eight year old daughter has been complaining about pain throughout her legs. Sometimes in both legs which causes her to limp. I am not sure whats happening. I took her to her doctor and her doctor took blood work, so I am waiting on the blood work to come back.



answers from Los Angeles on

I'd call the Dr back. tell them that it is still bad.



answers from Pittsburgh on

possibly a stress fracture.


answers from Dallas on

It sounds like he may just be suffering from muscle soreness. After using muscles more than usual it takes about 24 hours to experience soreness, 48 is when the soreness is most painful. Have you tried locating the pain he says that he has? Is it his calf or thigh? or a joint? If it's a joint or foot pain, I would suggest further care from his doctor to locate the source. If it's something that you can rub and he complains of pain, I would give some children's Ibuprofen and see if that helps him.


answers from Los Angeles on

If it continues to bother him the only thing I can recommend is insisting that he sees a Rheumatologist. Primary care doctors only know so much so that is when you need a speciallist.

And don't panic by me suggesting a Rheumatologist. It's just a way to rule out anything that could be causing your sons pain. It may just be micro tears in his muscle that take a lot more time to heal than a common sprain or pulled muscle. If it is indeed a muscle issue than an X-ray will tell you nothing, he will need to get an MRI for that.

Good luck, I hope he feels better soon!


answers from Norfolk on

Could it be growing pains? When my son got them, they could make him limp for awhile sometime, but it would be fine later on.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter was actually having sever pain in her hip/leg a while ago, limp and all. She was in a ton of pain, and not my complainer, so I knew it was something. Took her to the doctor, and he said (after an x-ray ruled out a break, etc.), it was probably a virus that settled into her hip. Weird, huh? I googled that, and it is a common thing that a common virus can just settle there. What I researched also said that if the pain didn't go away within 2 weeks to go back to the dr. You should google virus in hip in children, and see if this sounds at all like what your son is dealing with.
Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter experienced pain at around this age. I took her to her ped and he said it was growing pains. The pain persisted and she even cried. I took her again and the dr said growing pains, but to put me at ease, took x-rays and all was confirmed - growing pains. It doesn't hurt to be too careful, but you might want to just monitor it because it could be growing pains. Growing pains should be over soon.



answers from Los Angeles on

This is a recent problem afflicting my almost 3 year old daughter as well. She was diagnosed with transient synovitis following a similar episode 6 months ago without an xray. Last week the pain and intermittent limp began again and so an xray was ordered to rule out certain conditions. It was abnormal and we are meeting with a pediatric orthopedist this morning for diagnosis. Possibilities include a missed dysplastic hip and Perthes disease. Check them out and consider an xray. Hopefully this is a benign condition for your son, but it's better to be safe than sorry - especially considering the fact that while relatively rare, these conditions require treatment and possible surgery.

Next question: Seeking Moms That Have Had Kids Start Limping Without an Apparant Injury