Limping Child

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.