Leg or arm pain can be an indication of a number of possible conditions. The following list of symptoms will help to narrow down the cause.

  • Toddler holds arm against side
  • The elbow is tender and hurts upon moving
  • Toddler has had arm pulled on or has fallen on an outstretched arm
Likely Cause        Pulled elbow (nursemaid's elbow)
  • Sudden pain with movement
  • Swelling or stiffening at site
  • Limping
Likely Cause        Sprain or strain
  • Trauma with severe pain in one spot
  • Possibly heard a snapping sound
  • Pain increases with movement
  • Limb may seem bent out of position
Likely Cause        Broken bone or fracture
  • Limb or joint pain after recent viral infection, especially chicken pox or hepatitis
  • Can find no other cause for pain
Likely Cause        Post-viral arthritis
  • Joint pain after a recent strep infection
Likely Cause        Post-strep arthritis
  • Sudden onset of pain in hip or knee
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain with movement
  • Fever
Likely Cause        Joint infection (septic arthritis)
  • Pain in a limb
  • Tenderness
  • Refusal to use limb
  • Fever
Likely Cause        Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
  • Unexplained bruises, abrasions, burns, broken bones, black eyes, cuts, bite marks, or other injuries
  • Injuries appear repeatedly
Likely Cause        Child abuse
  • Stiffness, swelling, and pain in joints that lasts for at least six weeks
  • Pain is worse in the morning
Likely Cause        Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis



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