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Toddler limping and knee or ankle "giving out" without pain, redness or swelling. What could it be?

By Free2Bme June 14, 2009 - 12:30pm
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My friend's 2 year old was playing on some slippery surface (a "sprinkler park"), and fell. She was not concerned (2 year olds fall all the time, and he had no visible scratches) at first, but when he would try to walk, his knee (or hip or ankle?) would kind of "buckle" underneath him. He is not in any pain; no reddness or swelling either. He is jumping and squatting, but walking strangely. The most noticeable was an hour later: he went to kick a ball with his right leg, while standing on his left leg...and his left leg just "gave out". We can't notice any deformities or anything.

We called the nurse-on-call after-hours (it's a Sunday), and were told to do the "wait and see". Give him ibuprofen if it swells. He is eating and sleeping fine. If he still has trouble tomorrow morning, my friend will take him to the doctor.

Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else? Nurse said if strain, sprain or dislocation, there would be pain and he would not voluntarily move the injured leg. He is not doing this for attention, so can rule that out, too. What injury could this be, without pain?

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EmpowHER Guest

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November 27, 2015 - 2:21am
EmpowHER Guest

My 2 year old daughter has same symptom This has been going on for 9 months. Took her to doctor he said nothing was wrong. Said she was just favoring that leg after she hurt it. Took her to a chiropractor and said her hip was slitley out. She was fine few a few weeks then it happend again so back to chiropractor we went. We repeated this service 2 times a week for a month, no problems. Now it happend again just tonight. So I strongly recommend trying a chiropractor. Even though it is her hip she acts like her knee gives out.

December 29, 2014 - 6:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had the same with my 2 year old few days ago She wasn't complaining but it really scared me Doctor diagnosed 'irritable hip' You can find more info online It is caused by previous viral infection or a fall or injury In our case it was jumping (falling) on trampoline I was giving her ibuprofen as doctor said She was better the next day But always check with your doctor

December 9, 2014 - 4:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi All,

3days before i.e. on 31st Aug 2014 my son started limping and we were not sure of any reason. The nearest probable reason is because of excessive physical activity this can happen or any known/unknown injury (which doctor also confirmed). Initially I was terrified as I was wondering why there is no pain and all crazy thoughts popup in my mind. We took him to doctor and he diagnosed all the joints and confirmed there is no fracture/dislocation of bones. This result gave us some relief. Later he gave Ibuprofen Junior (Syrup) and asked us to use it three times a day after food for TWO days. After two days the limping disappeared. We were told that it is due to a mild sprain in the ankle. Just sharing my experience with the result so that any new person don't get panic in this situation.


September 1, 2014 - 8:46pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi...thanks for sharing your experience....because i have been facing the same situation with my 3 years old daughter ..who started limping from last 3 days and ...there is no pain...or ankle disloacation type of a thing...r swelling...every one told there experiences but you are the only one who told results ...i hope it will work with us ...as well...thanks

September 7, 2014 - 5:22am
EmpowHER Guest

Glad for level headed advice. My son had his leg give out tonight.

August 31, 2014 - 6:38pm
EmpowHER Guest

my child is 11 years old in last year her knee popped out of place twice and this year it has popped out of place one time she complains it hurt almost everyday and i know she's not trying to get attention because she can't really bend her knees for a long time or squat for a long time what's wrong. ?

June 24, 2014 - 10:23am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I know this was posted months ago, but I had the same experience when I was younger, so did two of my daughters, and my sister. One day, while talking to a podiatrist about it, he said the same thing happened to him. I had never met anyone else whose knees would dislocate like this. He believes that it is due to loose ligaments in the knees. He suggested strengthening exercises to tighten the ligaments. (resistance exercise) and things like that. I have gone to docters over the years and I was dismissed on the most part. The good news is, we all grew out of it. I will say it has happened maybe 3 times in my adulthood, over the last 30 years. I know it isn't much to go on, but I hope this helps.

January 15, 2015 - 12:53am
EmpowHER Guest

When my daughter was a toddler she had fallen off of a kitchen chair. Shortly after she was limping. She had no swelling or bruising and no pain. I called the pediatrician a couple of days later and was told to go ahead to the ER.. They did x-rays and found that she had the beginning stages of Legg-Calve'-Perthes Disease.. It is not life threatening, but some kids need surgery to correct it.

February 21, 2014 - 4:51pm
Jessica Johanning

My daughter is two yrs old on sept 25 2013 she went into the hospital for a replacement surgery walking normal when she left the hospital she could barely walk she doesn't really bare no weight on her right leg her feet turn I her hand are above her head for balance her back arches and her right leg bows out she can't run no more she cant go play outside shes seen neurologist they ran MRIs on her brain and spine but said everything is normal so they put her into physical therapy but now the physical therapist said she's doesnt need physical therapy obviously no one knows whats wrong with her we need help badly

February 18, 2014 - 1:25am
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