Toddler Won't Put Weight on One Foot and Now a Fever?

Updated on April 13, 2012
K.K. asks from Bondurant, IA
16 answers

Ok, I will try to relay the info as good as possible.

*a week or so before all this started, my son had been cranky, nasty runny nose...I thought it was a combo cold and teething...refused his binky...but finally had been getting better.

Sunday night, my 14 month old all of the sudden couldn't stand on his own. He would not put weight on his right foot/leg. I really thought something was wrong, like a break or sprain although nothing had happened! But 30 minutes later, he was perfectly fine.

Monday- He was fine for the first 1 1/2 hours of the day, but then the not putting weight on his foot thing occurred again. We got an appointment set up for 1:00pm and this happened 2-3 more times before that apt. We had xrays, nothing broken... we had blood work, everything good, no sign of infection, only thing kind of off was slightly elevated platelets? The Dr. that day thought it might be Viral Myositis...should be better by wednesday if so.

Tues- went in again for a check, same story, didn't know what else it could be. Was told to call if fever or redness/swelling occur. Leg thing happened a couple times.

Wed- Onset of a fever and runny nose...highest it got was 101 under the arm, so 102. All I got from them was a "watch him, if it gets 104, take him to the ER". Let thing happened a few times. Now he is tired, and cranky, of course.

Thurs- Woke up with NO fever, but by the time 1pm rolled around, we are back to 100.3(which would be 101.3). Still cranky and tired...I almost think it sounds like he has a cold...that sort of stuffy sound. Leg thing only 1 time today.

I am trying to decide if this is just 2 different things going on, if they are related, something serious? I have been googling...ran across an old post on here about similar instances. I just want everyones experiences...anyone gone through this or going through this? Thoughts? The leg thing is minute he won't be able to put weight on it, 20-30 minutes later, he will be walking around fine. No, it's not an attention thing...I tried some of his favorites that 2nd day, like going outside, and he still couldn't do it. Thank you in advance!!

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So What Happened?

Well, guessing it was just the cold/virus thing. Made it through all of Friday with no leg problems and no fever. Today, so far the same! No fever, or problems! Hoping we are done with this bizarre thing! If not, I have A LOT of good suggestions and advice on here. Thank you so much ladies...I knew this was the place to go to talk to people!!! I will keep you posted if things change!

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answers from Des Moines on

I just heard a similar story on the radio the other day.....that doc stated that it could be a cold that settled in their hip. I had never heard of sch a thing before, but the doc on the radio stated that it is pretty common, esp in younger children. I would agree to get a second opinion, if it is something more serious, you should learn about it sooner rather than allowing it to get worse.

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answers from Port St. Lucie on

I have no answer for you, realize this happend last year to your child. Wondered what ever came about it?
My son started with this like a month ago, when we got him up from his nap he would not put pressure down on his R leg, he was so frustrated and clearly wanted to walk. We too took him to the ped, sent us for x-rays, all fine, but by the next day everyhting was fine, no more trouble, now almost 1 month later the same thing, but it is so bizzare, he walks to the car to go to the store, but out of the car seat I set him donw to walk and it's like his foot or ankle is broke, he won't put any weight on it, today was the worse I have seen it, it happened too many times to count. I did give him Ibuprofen before his nap. When he got up he was fine, then into his high chair for lunch, afterwards went I set him down he was acting like he was hurt, this has gone on all day off and on, even after the tub, he walked fine to the tub, but when I pull him out to dry him off he can't stand up, my husband thinks he has a circulation problem, everyone tells me it is growing pains, but really in a 14 month old, he is a nice size baby, not over weight but higher on the grow charts. He hasn't been sick really since last x-mas, so could it still be a virus, remember this started almost a month ago, could a virus hang on that long? I am scared to death to expose him to a MRI. Thinking about going to the chiropractor for him, maybe he is just out of alignment? So wierd how it comes and goes though huh? Thanks for anything you can pass along or anyone else outhere... help!



answers from Des Moines on

Just to be safe, have him checked for polio which is pretty rare these days but not unheard of. Also check any brain inflammation issues.



answers from Sioux Falls on

My daughter has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and your post reminds me of symptoms of JRA. Her symptoms started as a toddler but it took us many, many months and several doctors to finally figure it out. It was an internal medicine doctor (who generally treats older people who are more likely to have arthritis) to recognize the swelling in her joints as arthritis. Flare ups of JRA can have fever, rashes and of course limping or favoring certain joints. Pediatricians can miss symptoms of JRA and missdiagnose as arthritis in kids is rare. Just something else to consider.

Good luck.



answers from Omaha on

Is he sitting funny on his legs before this happens? Could his legs be falling asleep? Is it the same leg or happening to both? Could it be a neurological problem?



answers from Chicago on

Maybe they are unrelated. I don't know, I've never heard of this exact thing. But my initial thought was, maybe he is sitting funny and his foot or leg is falling asleep? Or maybe his muscles are locking up? Charley horse cramps? Since you've ruled out a break or a sprain, keep an eye on how he positions himself. My sister used to love to sit with her knees bent and her feet out on either side of her butt, like an "M" if her butt was the point in the middle. But, her legs would sometimes lock up and she couldn't get up, screaming in pain. Just a thought, but I know I've had some terrible pain from my leg falling asleep, and from cramps in my muscles. He's only 1, so he can't articulate what makes him unable to use his leg, he only knows it's uncomfortable and so he avoids using it altogether until it feels better. Good luck, it is sooo frustrating when you can't get a good answer from the doctor. Keep at them until you figure it out!



answers from Anchorage on

My son started running a fever and could not put weight on his hip. After a week in the hospital, lots of antibiotics, and a lot of fear, it turned out he has an autoimmune problem that prompts his immune system to attack his joints when he gets sick, it is related to JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis). Other related issues are cradle cap (he still has it at age 5), dry patchy skin, dark under eyes, pain in joints when sick.



answers from Milwaukee on

It could be a number of things, some more serious than others. I would seek out a second opinion.



answers from Sioux Falls on

The exact same thing happened to my daughter and she was around 14 months as well. She had been diagnosed with some ear infections and had started limping and acting like she couldn't put any weight on her right leg. I took her in and they said she did have another ear infection or the prior one didn't heal and they put her on antibotic for that. Then we did the x-rays blood work etc. and nothing.... Then the limp kind of went away. So I thought nothing of it. Then the following weekend (which happened to be Easter, go figure) I got a call from daycare saying that she was just inconsolable. So I picked her up. She didn't have a fever then, but about 3 hours later she had a 102 temp. Gave her some Tylenol and she rested and was good. The next day she was not herself and of course I thought it was related to the ear infection. Her temp reached 104 and rushed her to the ER. They did all sorts of tests and the Dr decided to do a Mono test. It came back positive. He said that would have caused her limp as well. I had always thought that was a teen disorder, but this Doc had seen a couple cases and thought he would check. We had to stop the antibiotic immediately and then just do constant Tylenol and Motrin dosing for a couple days. Within 3 days she was back to normal.

Have them test for Mono, because they will not do it, even my Family doc said she would have never tested for Mono.

Good luck, sorry this is so long, but thought I should give you the exact case for my daughter.



answers from Eugene on

Maybe have a chiropractor who works with children check him out? Here's why I say this: My daughter, who is now 17, was playing with her older sister when she was 18 months and her sister was about 5. Sister was jumping off the couch in the living room onto a pillow. Little toddler follows, lands on the pillow, gets a funny look on her face (confused--not really hurt), and collapses on one side, falling down. Big sister laughs as toddler tries to stand up again, with toddler continuing to look confused. She never once cried or looked like she was in pain, but she could not put weight on her leg--it kept collapsing under her when she tried.

Since I had seen it happen, I knew we needed to get to the chiropractor--it was like a nerve was pinched or something, but not painful. But my insurance at the time required a primary care physician's referral and I didn't want to pay out of pocket for the chiropractor.
Her pediatrician looked her over and offered an Ace bandage and antibiotics! I told her my daughter was not sick and asked why the antibiotics--she said because it could develop into an infection or something. She would not refer to the chiropractor.

So I took my daughter to our chiropractor anyway, with a little girl who could not stand up in the waiting room without a tightly wrapped Ace bandage. After her treatment, as I was paying the bill, my little girl--with no Ace bandage anymore--was doing ballerina twirls and climbing all over the furniture!

I'm not sure your son has the same problem going on, but this experience can let you know that a) sometimes stuff happens structurally that requires readjusting a joint in order for it to function, and b) doctors don't always approach it from the correct perspective and can actually make things worse (antibiotics? Really?) by viewing it through their own lense.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with Brenda - get a second opinion. I have no idea what it is, but it leaves me feeling unsettled.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi. My 18-month old is having these exact symptoms. His cold ended a week ago, but still has a runny nose. His fever/leg sensitivity thing started this week. I started to Google to find answers as I wait for the nurse from him doctor's office to call me back in an hour. Can you please tell me what ended up being the issue? I am really puzzled and stressed out about what is going on with him. Thank you!



answers from Minneapolis on

The fever reminds me of Roseola, which both my kids have had - google it, it's not terrible, just a fever that lasts (off and on) for several days then suddenly a rash (not painful or itchy) appears (you can really just watch it spread over their body) and it's all over. Just a thought about that, something to watch for.

With the foot, have you checked for slivers or hang-nails? my son had a sliver that we couldn't see until it got infected - but it was hurting him. if you are giving him Tylenol or Motrin for the fevers, maybe that is also reducing some of the pain in his foot temporarily?

In a first aide class I was taught to check children by literally pressing every square inch and watching their reactions to try to pinpoint where the injury was, maybe you try that next time it bothers him?

Good luck! and I would also seek a second opinion...



answers from Albany on

Man...this sounds awful and puzzling to me too!! The only reason I'm even responding is because I swore I remember watching the Dr.s Show a couple months ago and hearing Dr. Sears saying that if your child has an unexplained limp that doesn't resolve you need to take them to the Dr. ASAP. If I remember correctly it had something to do w/ sepsis in the hip or something. I am assuming they checked for all that when you took him in..But maybe you can call and just make sure?

Did they check to see what or if there was any pain? Does he show an signs of pain or discomfort or is it that he just can't bear any weight on it? If there's no obvious signs of pain it makes me believe it might be neurological or something...

Not to scare you or anything, but I had a really bad cold...that seemed to have jumped start my MS...One of my symptoms was not being able to bear weight and or move my left leg...But it was glitch like only every 3 steps or something...Took me 2 doctors to finally find one who said this sounds neurological and sent me in for an MRI....Let me tell ya my brain was irritated to say the least LOL! I would definitely get a second opinion. And if they still don't have an answer & there is no improvement from your son...Maybe request MRI or something?

Good luck keep us updated I'm curious. Will be praying that it's just a coincidence and one of those weird things kids do :)

I found a synopsis of the show that did talk about an unexplained limp. I'm sure your ped. would check for this, but thought I'd post it anyway...


answers from Dallas on

It does sound odd. I would say go back to the doctor and get another opinion.......maybe another doctor. Tomorrow is friday and if you aren't feeling better about what is going on then you will worry all weekend.



answers from Minneapolis on

My son had similar symptoms, but he is older (9 at the time) and it went on for months. He had severe pain in his right knee and a fever and the dr did not find anything with x-rays and exams, then it went away. A week later same symtoms but the LEFT knee this time, again no findings from the dr. Since he is older and involved in sports everyone figured it was probably a sports related injury and treated it with hot/cold packs and tylenol. Again, it went away for a few days and then came back in his elbow and agin the right knee. Now the Dr. was concerned about JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis). But then it went away again, this time for a month. Then we were on vacation in FL and the pain came back in both knees and again a fever. We took him to several drs and a JRA specialist. They ran a zillion tests and again it went away. Then back to MN and this time when it came back, his pediatrician here reviewed all the lab work from FL and repeated many of the tests. The results showed that he had Lymes Disease. The coming and going of his syptoms I guess are not really what you see with Lymes and we never saw the initial target mark from the tick bite. But looking back there was a day a few months before all this began that he ran a high fever and was really sensitive to light, which the dr. thinks was at the initial time of the tick bite. He was sent to a specialist and she confirmed the Lymes Disease diagnosis and started him on 30 days of antibiotics. He ended the antibiotics last January and has not had any problems since.

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