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Knee, hip, calf, thigh pain, limping, no known injury

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Practicing since : 2002
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My 5 year old child has not been able to straighten out his leg for 2 days now. There has been no known injury, and when I ask where the pain is, he has indicated his hip, his calf, the back of his thigh, but most often his knee. He has difficulty walking, and is limping. I've been trying to carry him wherever he needs to go because I think it has gotten a bit worse so I'd rather him put as little weight on it as possible. I can bring him to his doctor in 2 days, but should I wait? Also, should I not allow him to walk much? Should I try to wrap the knee for now? Any help would be appreciated!!
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for your query.

Honestly, I recommend you bring him for an evaluation as soon as possible. If the dysfunction of his leg is such that now he cannot even bear weight or walk normally in addition to not being able to straighten it then a more immediate evaluation is warranted.

The reason why I suggest having him evaluated sooner is to make sure there is no some more immediately reversible cause of this problem which could get worse with 2 more days of waiting. We have to be concerned with the nervous system, the musculoskeletal system and the vascular system in this case.

It is difficult to speculate in the absence of being able to examine him right now but it could be something like a ruptured tendon, torn muscle or some kind of juvenille arthritis; although it would be rare to see an arthritic condition affect only one leg. I would minimize his weight bearing and walking until this is looked at by a physician. No need to wrap the knee for now.

A good physical exam and possibly an xray will help yield more clues as to what may be going on and doing this sooner rather than later makes much more medical sense.

I thank you for your query. I hope you have found this answer to be adequate as well as informative. Should you have additional concerns, I am available to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
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