41 answers

High Fever and Leg Pain

My son has been complaining about his leg hurting. I,of cusrse, have looked and do not see anything on the surface that is wrong. He also has a fever. It hasn't gotten over 103 but still enought to put him down for the weekend. I can remember being his age and having leg pain with growing pains (so my mother told me). I haven't been to the doctor yet as this is still fairly recent. If any one has been through this before and could shed a little light it would be great. I intend on calling his doctor in the morning. Just in case they think I should bring him in.

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for everyone with a positive response, thank you for your insight. i have been to the doctor and they drew blood. my son has officially declared the doctors office to be the enemy however they found nothing. his fever had dropped to 100 and now is normal but still on the medicne, as per the doc (untill the morning). they think it was some kind of viral infection that the body has taken care of and he should be ok. i understand kids get these kinds of things often and it is our responsibility to weave through what is serious and what is not. thank you to all for your support. if something does come out of this later on i will let you know.

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Personally, I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'd take him to the doctor or ER immediately. If it were just leg cramps, I'd think growing pains....but with a fever? I don't think so. Mommy radar is going off. There may be an infection somewhere. Don't panic, just be safe.

Take him to the dr. Not to freak you out but Staph is running rampant and it could EASILY be that. Go to the Doctor now!!!!!

A high fever is the body's defense against invading organisms. Growing pains and fever should not be associated with each other. Any fever over 103 should be taken seriously as brain damage starts to be a major concern over 104 degrees.

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One of my 5 year olds was going through this same thing but the fevers were randomly coming and going and unexplainable. I ended up taking him to the ER because of all the things you read which can have these symptoms and he was in tears that Saturday morning complaining of his leg pains(of course when the regular doctor's office was closed). They did a thorough work up of blood and xrays and didn't find anything but it did bring me peace of mind. Now when he complains of leg pains, I know its just growing pains and don't have to second guess my decision to just let it be that. There are many things that can cause this but because there is the fever, he should definitely see the doctor for blood work.

Good luck.

I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter that just had the exact symptoms. Fever for two and a half days ( as high as 102.6) and complained of leg pain. No other symptoms and now the fever is gone and nothing else has happened and she hasn't complained about leg hurting anymore. I just thought her leg may be stiff or sore from the fever or maybe "growing pains". If you contact your doctor, let me know what he/she says. I would appreciate it.

We're helping care for our grandson, almost 4 years old. He also complains of serious leg pains in the night especially after a day of outdoor activity. My husband, "Grandpa" also had leg pains when he was a child. I personally believe it has to do with growing pains.

E. L

How long has he been running fever? I don't think you should wait until in the morning unless this is his first day with fever and you're trying him on Motrin or Tylenol to break the fever. That's a little scary to me, Fever always is. May God be with you.

By all means take the child to the doctor.

With the fever and the leg pain, you should be concerned. The Dr. should run a blood test to check on his white blood cell count (indicates infection) and possibly run other tests. The pain could indicate anything from just growing pains to an internal infection to bone cancer (not likely to be the later). It is important to get it checked as most children his age do not let pain bother them and just play through it.

Please go to the dr. immediately. Since he is having fever with no symptoms that you can see (runny nose, etc.) but he's complaining of pain, he should be seen quickly to rule out any unseen infection or underlying problem. They can check his white count quickly. Fever is the way a body fights infection and I would definitely have him seen today.

It is probably just growing pains,

It could be cellulitus but you would notice a red swollen area on his leg if he had that, and it would most likely be in a spot where he hit his leg really hard in the last couple of days.

Hi A.
Don't want to alarm you but get it checked out... my friend when I was younger, a lot younger, had a leg pain that everyone thought was just growing pains and it turned out not to be growing pains and not so good. I don't know what kind of pain your son is having but I can tell you that my friends pain started out not so bad then the pain became so bad they ended up in the emergency room one night. Better safe than sorry... I always say.

by all means call a doctor. a fever is indication of an infection, be it minor or major, something is there. if there is pain you have a locality. growing pains are aches, not fever. better safe than sorry. if the pain persists and your regular dr. doesn't give you a satisfactory answer, go to another for a second opinion

I would suggest taking him to the doctor and having an xray done. When my daughter was about 9 yrs old, she fell while she was playing outside. I didn't see anything wrong, but, for a couple of days, she kept complaining about her arm and shoulder hurting. I still couldn't see anything wrong but took her to the doctor anyway. Turns out that she had a hairline fracture on her collar bone and had to have a brace for about 6 weeks. Usually, if they run a fever at the same time they complain about an injury, they are related. He could have just pulled a muscle while playing, but, better to err on the side of caution and go to the doctor.

Your son probably has the flu which usually attacks the muscles. My son recently had a mild case of this flu going around. HE missed 3 days of school becaue of his fever but his presenting symptom was leg pain.

If it persists, see your pediatrician.

Good luck,

My daughter had a lot of leg pain from about 18 months of age until she was an adult and still does occasionally. A doctor told me it was growing pains, but my other children grew as well, and they didn't all have this problem, although one other did. Her pain would be mostly at the back of her knee, but would radiate all over her leg. Many nights I would be up massaging her leg or legs most of the night. Later we seemed to notice that it would occur if she was out running around all day, or if we went shopping and spent a lot of time in the hot car, so dehydration may have been a factor. If your son has had a high fever, he might be dehydrated some, too. As an adult she noticed that stretching helped ease the pain.

Don't mean to scare you but I have a friend that her son started complaining about his leg. After several tests they discovered that he had a blood clot. Might ask the Dr. about this. Good luck and God bless!

I'd definitely take him to the doctor. Running a fever means your body is fighting an infection. It sounds more than just growing pains....my son grew 6" in one school year but never had a fever. Better safe than sorry in my opinion.

The leg pain is probably nothing, but the fever issue is a sign that something is wrong. If he doesn't have an ear infection, throat infection, etc... then the fever is coming from something. It is a warning sign to you that something isn't right. Take him to the doctor to find the cause of the fever. If it's not related to the leg, then warm compresses should help his legs.

If the pain keep coming and going and he runs a fever each time have them check him for Rheumatic Fever it took the drs. three month before they found out my 11yrs old son had it this effects the Heart


Leg pain can be from growing and typically happens at night. My nephew fractured his arm once and didn't have any symptoms except point tenderness. Have you felt up and down his leg? Is there one place that you touch that will send him to the moon? If so, I would take him to the dr. right away. If it's just growing pains, Tylenol is great for that. Don't use generics. It takes twice the amount of generics to equal the real brand so you're not really saving money after all.

I would definitely get your son in to see the dr. It hasn't happened to my son, but their have been 2 boys in the Lonoke area who had severe leg pain. I cannot remember what the condition was, but if it had not been caught it could have been very serious!

Just a thought - when my oldest was about 2 or 3 (he's 43 now), my pediatrician explained the severe leg pain as "growing pains." But he explained that the bones were growing faster than the muscles and the muscles were being stretched, thus the pain. But he was not running a fever.

I have a non-traditional view of treating your son. First ask him some questions about where the pain is, when it hurts, what type of pain, level of pain, how often. That sort of thing. Next I would look at his nutrition. Many times with growing children, pain can be an indication of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. If you are open to non-traditional medicine, I would visit a reputable natural practitioner in your area. You really want to find out the cause of the pain instead of masking it with antibiotics or many of the other pain therapies offered so widely today. It could be his body is reacting to two things simultaneously. Remember fever is the body's natural reaction to something foreign. The phenomenal thing about the body is that if you fuel it correctly and protect its immunity, it will last you a real long time. :) Stay strong and trust your instincts.

I hope your little one is feeling better today!
Honestly, I do not want to scare you at all. However,
if your little 4 year old has a fever as high as 103 with any kind of pain I would certainly take him to the doctor! If you cannot get him in today, then my advice is to take him to the ER today, especially if this continues through to this morning!

It could be an infection somewhere in his body or a number of other things. Am wondering if the leg pain came before the fever or the fever before the leg pain or both about the same time. I would try to think of everything that happened over the weekend and even the past weeks that may have been at all related to what is happening to him, such as a fall, a scratch, a cough, someone else in the family (or friends) being ill, if he recently had shots. If he visited the zoo or a farm or anything out of the ordinary. Just as a precaution, make a list and keep it regardless of the outcome today. And even if it seems to be resolved for a time. I am no doctor, but I did raise 5 children and cared for 2 of my grandchildrenon a full time bases through their first 5 years. This just seems suspicious to me.
I wish I had kept a diary of these types of things when my children were at home. It could have saved one of my boys a lot of pain in the past few years of his life, and he is 28 years old.
I pray all is well with your son. And even if this turns out to be nothing to worry too much about, you are still way ahead of the game if something comes up later, in my opinion anyway.
Just realized as I posted this, I am a day late. And I think I was the 13th response with many saying pretty much as I did. I hope you know something by now and it is all good. Let us know!

Get him checked- when my son was young- he had fever and legs hurting- and never said his throat hurt-but when checked he had strep! Everytime he had strep- his legs hurt him- fever too of course. But- then again- he went thru the growing pains in his legs too. I'd have to give tylenol and rub them in the middle of the night .
J. L.

my best friends' little boy had the same thing and he had Toxic Synovitis, an infection in this hip joint. you might need to see your ped. it is usually accompanied by a fever or runny nose, and goes away on it's own, but it's kind of an autoimmune thing. i'd check it out.

A high fever is the body's defense against invading organisms. Growing pains and fever should not be associated with each other. Any fever over 103 should be taken seriously as brain damage starts to be a major concern over 104 degrees.

High fever and leg pain or cramps could be a sign of streptocochol arthritis.
It can also be a symptom of Lyme's disease as was the case with my son.
Please have a Lymes test even if you never saw a tick or had any other symptoms. In the early stages it is much easier to treat.

My son, too, complained of leg pains during his growth spurts, but not until he was older, and never with a fever. I'd have him checked out by a doctor. There might be something else going on. Please keep us updated. Thanks and good luck.
W. Q

Hi Angela, I am a Nonnie which means grandmother to my grands.If this child belonged to me I would have him at the doctor's office while it is entirely possible that there is nothing wrong he is running a temp and has pain he may have just been really running around a lot and stretching his leg muscles but please check it out I am not trying to upset you because usually the things turn out fine this is the same advice that my kids would get. I hope all is well and I will pray for the little one and for you to have peace about the doctor's visit.P.


Personally, I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'd take him to the doctor or ER immediately. If it were just leg cramps, I'd think growing pains....but with a fever? I don't think so. Mommy radar is going off. There may be an infection somewhere. Don't panic, just be safe.

Take him to the dr. Not to freak you out but Staph is running rampant and it could EASILY be that. Go to the Doctor now!!!!!

Hi A. A,

My advice as a mother of four; anytime a child has a fever, take them to the doctor. He has an infection some where. I was having leg pain just a week ago. I notice a pump on it and then it started to turn red. I went to the doctor on Friday of last week. I found I had a cellutist on it. The doctor cut it out on Sunday. Not saying this is whats wrong with your son, but don't take any chances by waiting.

leg pain with a fever can be serious. if the pain is localized to one area (ie joint, etc) there could be infection. If it is all over aches and pains could be flu-like symptoms. My son had an episode at 3 of Synovitis, which was an inflammation in his hip joint. They were worried it was septic (that meant infected and would have had to operate). Some of my son's symptoms were (and came on relatively quickly): Keeping one leg bent, not putting any pressure on that leg at all, and he was all the time crying with his leg hurting, but it looked fine and he couldnt really tell me where it was hurting. Also, there was a by at a school here locally that had leg pain and a fever and he had a staph infection in knee joint and they are not sure where it originated. If you still havent taken you child to the doctor, i would get it checked out immediately.

The two things could be unrelated. That's what we'll hope. I do know a friend of a friend who's 4 year old daughter had a high fever 105, I think, and when they took her to the doctor, she had an antibiotic-resistant form of MRSA. It was in her leg. Don't panic. That is such a long stretch, but I like to have all the possibilities on my plate. Sometimes the doctors just don't know and you almost have to diagnose yourself (or you son in this case). Best of luck to you.

these two conditions may not be related. A fever of 103 in a 4 year old may be due to strep throat or there is some sort of "24-hour measles" that really lasts for three days. The MMR vaccine does not cover these measles.

If your child has strep throat, you don't want to wait to treat it. Strep is a nasty bacteria -- untreated strep can cause rheumatic fever (affects the heart), sometimes kidney problems ..... It's an easy lab test ....

I hated it when I didn't know for sure what my son had. He had the chickenpox, but he was born before the vaccine!

Hi A....growing pains are very real...both of my boys had them....they didn't believe my husband and i when we said it so we took them both to the dr and he explained it to them....but neither of them had fever with them...i would suggest a run to the dr to be sure....good luck...R.

My son had a bone infection when he was in the NICU...his symptoms were fever and leg pain. After he was diagnosed I did some research on it and found that it's very rare in neonates, especially preemies, but actually more common in children. The infection can spread from a small scrape/scratch on the toe even. Eventhough it's more common in children than infants, it's still not very common overall. If it still hurts and the doc's exam doesn't find anything, ask for an x-ray.....and if that doesn't show anything and it still hurts, ask for an MRI/CT.

Hopefully, it's just 'growing pains' and will resolve on its own!

we've all had growing pains at sometime , but i don't remember any fever. Let me tell you a real story . My 7 year old about 2 years ago was diagnosed with lymphoma. He's fine now and we are finally getting our lives back. Before he was diagnosed we thought he had brochities or pneumonia (sorry Can't spell) .. they started asking all the questions like night sweats , does he get unexplained fevers, does he get tired easily, there was alot of questions.. I'm not saying that it is anything serious , but if it is taking him out for an entire weekend ..

--When a child of any age has severe pain & fever-------

That is what I would suggest...growing pains...or maybe he pulled a muscle. Either way, not much (except tylenol) you can do for him...maybe a warm bubble bath.

My son had the so called "growing pains" in his legs and cried at night with it. He never ran a fever so I am wondering if that is your son's problem. Also, my son was older around 8 years.

My son went through his whole 9th year complaining of leg pain. We could not find ANYTHING wrong with him. The dr. said growing pains and a few months later he finally stopped complaining. I don't think fever would be associated with it though, so going to the dr. would be the best thing. Might be that he just had a charlie horse and coincidently coming down with a cold at the same time? Hope everything is ok!

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