- Kids Health
My 2yr Old Son Woke Up Limping with a Pain In His Leg. It Was Irritable Hip!
Help! My Son Cant Walk Properly
Childs Irritable Hip
A few months ago my two year old son had a viral infection, he was fine and well again after four days or so and back to his normal self running around like a mad man. However a few days later he woke up screaming and crying, I couldn't see anything visible that could have been causing his pain and as he cant talk properly yet he couldn't tell me why he was crying, all he kept saying was hurt. I checked his temperature which was high and so rang the nhs helpline.
After going through all his details on the phone, the nurse told me that he was probably still feeling unwell from the viral infection and to give him plenty of fluids and some calpol.
He finally went back to sleep and I stayed up checking him every ten minutes like the over protective mother that I am. About an hour later he woke up again screaming and saying hurt.
I stood him up to check his body for rashes etc. which made him scream and cry even more, when I tried to get him to walk I noticed he was limping and his left leg seemed to be dragging a bit, he ended up giving up on walking and crawling on the floor instead.
I knew this wasn't normal and instantly phoned the doctors. That morning I took him to the doctors where she checked his temperature and looked in his ears and told me "Yes he has a temperature I think it is just viral." just give him plenty of fluids and some Calpol.
I asked her to check his legs because he was limping and crawling and she told me their was no need to check because when you have a high temperature you have body aches and tried to assure me that was all it was.
So off we went back home, my two year old continued to limp and scream out in pain until i couldn't bare to watch him like that anymore and off we went to the accident and emergency at the hospital.
Once there we waited for an hour to see the doctor. As soon as we got into his room he listened to what I had to say and then told me to walk my son up and down the corridor, he then checked his legs, and instantly told me he believes my son has irritable hip??
Apparently Irritable is common in young children especially boys, but i had never heard of it before and neither had friends and family who i later told about it, which is the main reason i am writing this hub.
My son was immediately admitted into the children's ward where they took blood from him and inserted a Cannula. Because of his age he had to have a plastic board stuck to his arm with a bandage and tape stuck round it, they said because of his age he will try pulling the drip needle out, so they put the board and bandage on so he wont be able to get to it. By now he is limping and looks like he has a broken arm to match bless him.
They kept him in hospital while they waited for the blood test results and they did the xrays on his leg and hip, which was very hard as we had to hold him down while the xray machines did their job, I think the fact he looks so tiny is what made it more distressing.
The next morning he was examined by the pediatrician who confirmed he had irritable hip and after another day of constent observation and medicine we was allowed to take our little boy home, he had to rest for the first two weeks which as any parent knows is extremely hard to get a two year old to stay in one place. but a few months later he is back to his normal self and once again running around full of beans.
It just goes to show as parents we know if something is wrong with our child, if I had listened to our doctor, I would never have known he had Irritable hip.
What is Irritable Hip?
Irritable hip also known as acute Transient Synvotitis , is inflammation (swelling) of the membrane covering the hip joint. It is the most common cause of hip pain in young children.
A child with irritable hip will have pain and restricted movement in their hip joint. The pain can also spread to the thigh, groin and knee areas. This makes standing and walking difficult and causes the child to limp.
Usually, only one hip is affected. Irritable hip is a common childhood condition that affects boys and girls of all ages. It is most often seen in boys aged between two and 12, and twice as many boys than girls are affected. Around one in 1,000 children will suffer from irritable hip each year in the UK.
What Causes Irritable Hip?
The exact cause of irritable hip is unknown, however it often follows either a viral infection such as a sore throat or a cold. Sometimes Irritable hip can also occur after a physical injury or a fall.
Perthes Disease can also cause Irritable hip.
Diagnosing Irritable Hip
A child suffering with Irritable hip will usually experience pain when putting any weight on the affected side. It may also hurt to sit down.
You will usually notice the child either dragging their leg, limping or in younger children even crawling. Irritable hip can also cause pain in the groin, knee or thigh.
Younger children will often cry out at nighttime.
The child may also have a higher temperature than normal. A normal temperature for a child is 37C (38.6F).
You should always take your child to a Doctor to have a formal diagnosis as the symptoms of Irritable Hip are very similar to more serious conditions such as a hip fracture or Septic Arthritis. Septic Arthritis is a serious condition which needs to be treated quickly.
Tests that your Child may have
First a Doctor will examine your child's hip, watch them walk and check their temperature.
Further testing may be needed such as an X-ray, Blood tests and in some cases an Ultra sound to rule out any fluid on the hip joint.
Other tests may include an MRI, Bone Scan and in some cases a Bone Biopsy.
Had you heard of Irritable Hip before reading this?
Acute Transient Synvotitis
How Irritable Hip is Treated?
As a parent, it can be very worrying if your child is diagnosed with irritable hip and is struggling to walk but the good news is that the condition is often short lived and usually has no further complications.
In most cases it goes away without treatment, after one to two weeks.
Bed rest is recommended for 7 to 10 days to give the hip joint chance to heal itself.
Ibuprofen or paracetamol can be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
Please Note That You Should Never Give Children Under 16 Aspirin.
Massaging the affected hip and applying heat may also help in reducing pain.
Some children may experience a return episode of Irritable hip but will eventually grow out of it.
It is recommended that your child does not do any sports or strenuous activities such as playing on trampolines or bouncy castles, for at least 4 weeks from diagnosis to reduce the risk of the irritable hip returning.
Swimming is a nice gentle exercise to strengthen the hip joint and get it moving properly again.