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Ankle pain in a child, woke up crying. Is this a sign of leukemia?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
I have a 3 year old little girl she weighs 41 pounds and is 36 inches tall. On December 5th. during the night she woke up with one of ankles hurting. She cried for about 15 minutes and then stopped. Then on December 24th. she woke up with her ankle hurting, crying it lasted for about 5 minutes and she went back to sleep. My biggest fear is that this is one of the signs of leukemia.
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Cancers in Children
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 4 hours later
Hello ,
Thanks for posting your query.
The commonest cause of such pain in growing young children is bone pain related to normal growth related changes in bone end or some nutritional deficiency of calcium.
Leukaemia has many other symptoms like growth failure, anemia, bleeding, recurrent infections, weakness, etc which are more common than isolated bone pain.
Please do not worry, it's most likely growing pains which occur in rapidly growing bones of young children especially legs and felt commonly during night .It is normal and resolves without treatment.
But I would advise you consult your pediatrician for a thorough examination and blood tests if required like complete blood counts and serum calcium and xrays of lower limbs.This wil not only
confirm the diagnosis but also rule out any possibility of leukaemia.
If the reports are normal then you can be assured, and it will spare you from undue stress.
The doctor may also prescribe any medications if required to correct any nutritional deficiency of calcium, iron or vitamins.
Hope I have answered your query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Ankle pain in a child, woke up crying. Is this a sign of leukemia? 1 hour later
Is this something I need to do immediately. She acts fine. I thought if it happened again I would get her an appointment with her pediatrician.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 11 hours later

Thanks for follow up.

Yes, you can wait till next episode as there is no urgency or no additional risk of complications if you wait and watch.

Wish your child good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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