19 answers

My 3 Year Old Is Limping

My 3 year old has been limping on and off for 5 days now. She woke up on Saturday morning and said her knee hurt and we noticed she was limping most of the morning but then it seemed to get better. She has had no falls or other incidents we are awar of. She was fine the next day but limped part of the day Monday. There is no bruising or abrasions. There may be some slight swelling but it is really hard to tell as her legs are kind of chubby and not too well defined to begin with. She does not wince when you touch it or squeeze around the area and is really not complaining, just limping. Also, has had no fever. I am completely perplexed as to what is going on. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would advise you to take her to the doctor and get an xray of her knee - if she is limping then something is wrong.

More Answers

Honestly , If you cannot explain the limp, take her to the dr. There may be nothing wrong, and I dont want to panic you, but when my son was 2, he started having discomfort in his hip. no bruises, we thought he had twisted it in his sleep, took him to the er for xrays, showed nothing. There was no fever, nothing but tenderness. I took him to his own dr the next day, they discovered a severe infection in his hip socket. He was in surgery before the day was out. This is something that only affects 1 percent of the population. The point is thought if i hadnt checked it out, the results could have been life long. Dont wait. have it checked out. It is probably nothing, but better to rule issues out .
Good luck,

My only suggestion would be to watch out for fever as you are doing. My son had similar but more severe symptoms than what you described along with a fever. We landed in the hospital. He had to have 2 surgeries to clear a mysterious and nasty infection. Good luck. I hope for your daughter's sake it is merely a sprain or something of that sort. Best wishes for swift recovery.

You should be calling your pediatrician and running it by them it could be just growing pains or it could be something more serious or it could be absolutely nothing at all.

My daughter actually broke her fibula and walked all the way home. She was limping but able to walk. I took her to the ER and found out it was broken and the reason she could still walk without serious pain at all times was because it was not a weight bearing bone. I never would have thought she had a broken bone, I only thought she twisted it. I'd have it checked out as soon as you can.
Good Luck

I don't mean to scare you, but GET HER to the DOCTOR!!!!! It could be nothing, but it could be something as serious as bone cancer. Thats how a lot of it is first noticed. Hopefully it turns out to be nothing, but don't take their brushing it off. Push for an MRI if you feel it's necessary. Good Luck!!

Have you called your doctor? She probably should go.

Take her to the Dr. as soon as you can, only they can tell you what is wrong.

My daughter had similar symptoms, with a slight limp, at age 4. I did not see any swelling but Dr said later that there was some minor swelling in her knee. My daugters symptoms got steadily worse though and after several days, she was unable to bear any weight on one leg. We spent 5 hours in the ER on Christmas Eve morning and it turned out to be Lyme Disease. Was treated and she is now great with no after affects.

try a foot doctor. my son started limping one day and actually hopping on one foot. I took him to every kind of doctor to be checked and they couldnt find anything. Then finally someone said take him to a foot doc. Sure enough took an xray and he had loose ligaments in his feet that caused pain all the way up his leg. Its worth a try.

I would advise you to take her to the doctor and get an xray of her knee - if she is limping then something is wrong.

I would definitely take her to the doctor and get an x-ray and/or blood test (CBC) just to make sure everything is ok, which hopefully it is!

I do think I would be concerned enough about this limping to take the child to doctor.
There are many reasons a child can start limping like that.
She may have twisted her knee...the causes are myriad so it is useless for any of us to "guess" at the why.
There are many serious reasons for a child to start limping and these MUST be explored before the situation worsens.
Rules we followed are this...if there is NO obvious cause ( bruise, fall, twist) and this issue can deteriorate, is not normal, than take the child to the doctor.
A word of caution...this is one of those things a harried doctor is regrettably inclined to "brush off".
One brush off is one too many and certainly more than enough if it reccurs.
So, if you take her to doctor, he brushes off, she limps again, your cue to become very persistent and insist he find the cause. Which could be harmless and pass quickly.
Do keep a diary of incidence. Date that she limped, how long she limped, if she complained of pain, how bad and where. If swelling developes or fever.
This will help the doctor immensely in determining cause.
Please do not brush this off. It is easy to do so with a family of four , I know, but I strongly recommend you follow through here.
Best wishes and God bless
Grandmother Lowell

I agree with your first responder, Rachel. When I first read your post, I only thought of growing pains.

I am not from around here, though, and Lyme Disease is apparently much more prevalent here than other parts of the country, so if you are concerned about that, please do follow up on it.

Good luck with her!

I would call her doctor and get her checked for lyme disease....there isn't always a rash with the first stage (so it can go undetected) and the second stage effects joints - occurs months after the first stage. Usually it presents as joint pain that can't be explained by any truama. My limited expirience is that the child refused to bear weight at all, so maybe it is nothing, but certainly worth a call and asking about it.

Take her to a doctor to get it checked out.

A couple of years ago my son had the same thing. I forget the name of it, but it was a virus that settles in the joints. My son could barely put any weight on his leg because his knee was hurting so badly. The doc knew what it was, but did take an x-ray just in case. You should call the pedi, but if I had to guess, that's probably what it is. Good luck!

I agree, have your child tested for Lyme disease. Do you know of any tic bites as of late? If you catch it, it is treatable with antibiotics.

Another thing you may want to rule out is JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis). I don't want to alarm you, so please take this suggestion with a grain of salt. My daughter has JRA, and some mornings she is stiff but as the morning progresses, she gets better. There are a slew of other symptoms too (fevers, advanced bone growth, sleep issues) but I have heard of folks passing off joint pain to 'growing pains'. I'm sure this is not the case with your daughter, but most people have never even heard of JRA (our family included, weren't we surprised with her diagnosis a few years ago). There is not a test for JRA out there but rather a number of tests to rule out everything else. My daughter was three yrs. old when she was diagnosed. Wish someone had told me of the possibility and I promise you that is why I'm telling you about it. I am certainly not insinuating your daughter has JRA or trying to worry you further, just putting it out there.

Would like to hear how things turn out with your daughter. Good Luck!

I would call the ped right away. When this happened to our now 6 year old he started out limping (he was 4 ) then it got so bad we ended up in the emergency rm. They did tons of tests and it turns out he had Lyme Disease. He had NO other spmptoms None!. I would get this checked out right away for your piece of mind.

I agree with the responders who say have her tested for Lyme Disease. My 10 year old had similar symptoms and was tested for Lyme and Rheumatoid Arthritis. He ended up having the Lyme Disease and we treated him with antibiotics and with homeopathics for Lyme. The symptoms haven't returned, thank goodness. If that is what she ends up being diagnosed with do some research on the best way to handle it. We chose to use both medicines so that the spirochetes were treated and his whole body was treated.

Good luck.

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