The Limping Child

Monica Payares-Lizano
Pediatric Clinics of North America 2020, 67 (1): 119-138
A limp is a common presentation to pediatricians, emergency centers, and orthopedists. A directed history and physical examination, and the development of a differential diagnosis based on limp type, patient's age, and the anatomic site that is most likely affected, provides a selective approach to diagnostic testing. Laboratory tests are indicated when infection, inflammatory arthritis, or a malignancy is considered. Imaging usually begins with plain radiography. Ultrasonography is valuable in assessing irritable hips. Advanced imaging is done in select cases. Prompt referral to an orthopedist is essential, especially if septic joint, vascular or compartment issues, or open fractures are suspected.

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