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Child keeps leg tightened, looks like paralyzed. Is this normal. What should be done?

Answered by
Dr. Balaji Chinnasami


Practicing since :2005

Answered : 262 Questions

Posted on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 in Growth and Development in Children
Question: Hi, i have a 16 month old son, he tightens up his legs and can not move at all, doctor told to a head scan. he has them sitting laying down and when walking it is like he is paralized.
Please suggest is it normal and what can we do for him working properly.
Answered by Dr. Balaji Chinnasami 19 minutes later

Thanks for your query to XXXXXXX

I am not able to clearly understand your complaints.

Kindly answer below questions which helps me to understand the problem better and opine specifically.
Is your child not able to walk at all till date?
Is your child only able to sit and lay down?
Is your child tightening his legs always when he attempts to walk?
How long has it been happening? How was the child at birth? Did he cry immediately? What was his birth weight? I need more information about the problem.

If your child has never been able to stand/walk till date, then it is not normal.

Probably your child’s development is delayed. In such scenario a head scan as advised by your doctor will help in diagnosis. He needs exercise and physiotherapy to decrease the tightening, so that he will be able to stand and walk.

If the tightening of his legs were only momentary (ie only for few minutes & in between he is normal) it could be seizure disorder. We need to evaluate him in a different manner.

Kindly give me more detailed information for clear guidance.

Waiting for your response,

Take care.

Dr. Balaji Chinnasami
Assistant Professor-Pediatrics

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Balaji Chinnasami 24 hours later
Please find more information for my Child.....

1.My child is Pre mature born, he has very low eye site in right eye.He would only can see clearly through left eye.we had a surgoery of both eye's and now its been follow up with L V XXXXXXX hosp.

2.Also he sits with folded legs at back side(just like WC) and he stands with some support with tightening legs and also walks some distance with support and shakes his legs. the time of birth, he had cried, and he was in NICU for 25 days, as his wight was 1.13kg.
Answered by Dr. Balaji Chinnasami 16 hours later
Hi dear,

I am really thankful for giving me much needed information.

Your child was premature with weight of 1.13kg requiring NICU care. Premature babies are at risk of developing a condition called cerebral palsy with diplegia. It predominantly affects lower limbs causing increased tone (spasticity) and hence difficulty in walking. Brain scan helps in confirming diagnosis.

It is a non-progressive condition which means he is not going to further worsen but will improve with age. Since he was preterm, his corrected age should be about one year. If we do good physiotherapy and occupational therapy, he will be definitely able to walk and stand, although a bit later than other children. His tone of the limbs will be improved by doing exercises (Physiotheraphy)

Usually premature babies have only difficulty in walking with abilities like talking. Intelligence is not that much affected.

So dear, be patient. Be under the guidance of a multidisciplinary team of doctors, opthalmologist, orthopedician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and he will do better.

Take care. If you have any other queries I am happy to help or else close the query and rate it.

Dr. Balaji Chinnasami
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan

The User accepted the expert's answer

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