My Symptoms

Child who limps: the causes

When a child limps, the causes can be very diverse. Here are some of the medical causes that the doctor is considering ...

The cold of the hip

Hip cold is a fairly common and usually benign disease. It occurs sometimes after otitis or nasopharyngitis ... The child begins to limp and complains more or less of his hip.

Hip cold is an inflammatory reaction of the joint and its synovium.


It is a disease that most often affects boys, around the age of seven. The child limps, can hurt. Lameness persists and examinations are essential (blood test, x-ray, ultrasound).

At a relatively advanced stage, the upper part of the thigh bone, the head of the femur, is damaged. There is a lack of vascularization of this region. There are more or less important forms of this disease.

Inflammatory rheumatism

Juvenile chronic arthritis can affect one or more joints. In fact, there are various more or less serious forms of this disease. Sometimes the symptoms begin very early, sometimes even at the age of one. Little girls are more affected than boys.

The signs are fever, fatigue, pain in one or more joints (such as the knee), resulting in lameness.

There can be an attack of an envelope of heart, a pericardium; enlarged lymph nodes. Sometimes, the symptoms are more discreet, and the child is simply embarrassed by a painful and swollen joint.

Bone or joint infection

In the case of osteomyelitis, the germ has arrived internally, through the blood to lodge in the bone. The germ that has infected the bone can come from the skin, an ENT infection, a urinary or meningeal infection. Staphylococcus aureus is the most commonly found germ.

These are usually children between 3 and 8 years old who can be affected. The child limps, suddenly complains of a joint - often the knee, he has fever, and he is tired, sometimes prostrate ...

The child may also have a joint infection (arthritis) that may be secondary to bone infection.

Other causes ...

They are still numerous. Thus, in adolescents, apophysitis of the calcaneus (Sever's disease), or on the upper tibia (Osgood Schlater's disease) can cause foot pain or knee pain.

The problem is related to micro-traumas that affect a weakened bone and cartilage zone. This forces to stop any sport activity.

At the doctor

Apart from a traumatic origin, the reasons for lameness in a child are quite numerous:

  • tendinitis,
  • inflammation,
  • inflammatory rheumatism,
  • infection...

The doctor's examination must be thorough, a problem occurring during walking may sometimes be a first sign of a neuromuscular disorder ...

In addition to a clinical examination, additional investigations may be necessary to establish the diagnosis: blood test, X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound.

A hip cold is a fairly common diagnosis. A lameness in the child may reveal rarer conditions, but sometimes require fairly important treatments (such as bone or joint infection, osteochondritis ...).

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Read also :

> Meningitis of the child
> Urinary tract infection in children
> Infantile diseases: all you need to know

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