The differential diagnoses of a limp in a child are broad. Normal age-related gait must first be differentiated from gait impairment. Once gait impairment is identified, differential diagnoses are narrowed as the history and physical examination findings begin to suggest a source for the limp. In many instances, a diagnosis is reached with the assistance of both laboratory testing and radiographic findings. Well-defined treatments exist for most causes and vary with the severity of the disease process or injury. Thankfully, most children respond well to therapy and resume walking normally without sequelae.
Synonyms and related keywords: hip dysplasia, developmental dysplasia of hip, leg length inequality, equinovarus deformity, clubfoot, torsional deformities, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plantar fasciitis, Osgood-Schlatter disease, osteochondritis dissecans, Legg-CalvĂ©-Perthes disease, toddler's fracture, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, toxic synovitis of the hip, transient synovitis of the hip, septic arthritis, septic arthritis of the hip, septic arthritis of the knee, septic arthritis of the ankle, osteomyelitis, gait disturbance, discitis, spondylolysis, metatarsus adductus, avascular necrosis of navicular/foot, avascular necrosis of second metatarsal, patellofemoral syndrome, osteogenic sarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, neuroblastoma, leukemia, soft tissue injuries of the ankle, popliteal cyst, ankle fractures, femur fractures, foot fractures, hip fractures, knee fractures, pelvis fractures, tibia and fibula fractures, osteoid osteoma, tarsal coalition, stress fractures
Beach & Ficke Updated: Mar 3, 2009