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A limp is an uneven walk, usually from pain, weakness, or other problems. It's often caused by a bump, twist, or other minor injury. But it may also be a symptom of something more serious.
The doctor has done a physical exam of your child. The exam gives clues about the cause of the limp. The doctor may have watched your child walk and may have moved your child's legs and hips to find the cause of the pain. Your child may get X-rays and other tests if needed. If the tests show a medical problem that needs attention, your child will get treatment for it.
If the doctor doesn't find a cause that needs more treatment, the cause of the limp may well be a minor injury. It will likely clear up on its own. The doctor may recommend rest and medicine for the pain. Ask the doctor if you can give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Your doctor will tell you about how long the limp should take to improve.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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