20 Month Old with Pain in Foot or Leg

Updated on March 19, 2013
D.T. asks from Newport Beach, CA
5 answers

Hi moms,
My 20 month old has been experiencing some pain in his foot or leg. It happens about once a month on his right leg or foot. The pain is not consistant and usually lasts for one day every so many weeks. I usually notice it when I'm removing his shoe and he will make a jerking motion and scream and cry in agony. The shoes do not appear to be tight on him because they are easy to put on and easy to take off and he usually wears them. Occassionally, his foot ends up being swollen on these days and we'll let him walk around without shoes since they are not easy to put on. On these days, he is usually limping and will favor his left leg over his right. We've gone to the doctor and have had blood work done and xrays on his foot but everything has come back fine. One of his doctors wants us to see a Rheumatlogist for the possiblity of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. We are waiting on the specialist to set up an appointment but my doctor mentioned it might be a few months before we can see them. My question is if anyone has experienced anything similar and if so, what did it end up being. I also wonder if the issue might be the nerve in his leg.

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answers from Joplin on

Yes! Please follow up with the rheumatologist. Also when he gets like this, try giving him a warm bath and let him just play for a little bit. After the bath, lotion his little body up if he'll let you and give him a little massage. That may help decrease the pain just a little bit. (I'm 23 and have arthritis throughout my whole body and this is what I have to do A LOT)

If it is some sort of arthritis, the heat will definitely help the little guy. I'm not sure exactly what it could be, but i hope that they'll be able to help you figure it out very soon!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

definitely follow up on the rheumatologist! As the parent of a son with osteo disabilities, it's very important to do as much research/testing/exams as possible.....to rule out issues.

One question: xrays only show just so much. Has your dr considered an MRI to check out the rest?

Good Luck & push for answers!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My son would walke up in the middle of the night with pain in his leg at age 3-5 and we brought him to a specialist who continued to say it was "growing pains" and he would just grow out of it. He gave him orthodics and it didn't help, but we kept going back to the orthopedic specialist because that is all we knew.

We eventually went to a chiropractor who said my son was mis-aligned and adjusted him and that was the day my son's pain stopped. He gets adjusted once a month and if he takes a hard fall at school. I've been told he has loose joints and in time will get better, but for now, going to the chiropractor has been a the best thing for my son.

If your son has a pinched nerve, the chiropractor can fix it.

Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi DT,

What testing did your pediatrician do? At a minimum, check to make sure he tested for RF (rheumatoid factor), ANA (antinuclear antibody), sedimentation rate, and CRP (C-reactive protein). The swelling is an important clue to the possibility of arthritis -- especially if it's more in the toes. Does he get any pain and swelling in his fingers, too? This can also be an important clue for diagnosis. I don't understand why it may be months before you can see a pediatric rheumatologist: there are at least 1/2 dozen close to Newport Beach, and more in the L.A. area. Children's Hospital of Los Angeles also has one of the top pediatric rheumatology departments in the country. If your son does have JRA (and I hope he doesn't!), then he should be seen and treated ASAP. If the blood testing is suggestive of this, then perhaps you can get an expedited appointment.

Because you can see swelling in the foot, a nerve-related issue is less likely. If the rheumatology consult doesn't turn anything up, however, consultations with a neurologist and an orthopedist could be helpful. You might also want to consult a podiatrist.



answers from Reno on

My son was misdiagnosed with JRA by a family doctor at about the same age. We treated him for arthritis for years, and finally took him into a rheumatologist, who said that he never had JRA and actually has loose joints. We are now treating him for that and he is reasonably pain free for the first time in years. Definitely follow up with a rheumatologist. Arthritis should show up in blood work and he may be able to offer other solutions if that ends up not being the cause of your son's issues.

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