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Limping Children Can Be Sign Of Swollen Hip JointToxic Synovitis
Is A Condition That May Seem Alarming, But It's Not.
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CHICAGO (AP) ― Ryan Miller was a healthy 4-year-old when he woke up one day in his San Francisco-area home and inexplicably started limping.
Same thing happened several months ago in Springfield, Mass., to 6-year-old Paolo Brandon -- a mystery limp that came out of the blue. It sent both boys to the doctor's office, where the possibilities were alarming.
"Leukemia, bone cancer -- it was scary to know what it could have been," said Ellen Weiss of suburban Chicago. Her son, Max, also developed the condition at age 7.
All had toxic synovitis, big words for what is essentially a swollen hip joint. Little discussed in baby guides, the rarely serious condition is among the most common causes of limping in young children.
"It just sounded so bizarre," said Paolo Brandon's mother, Heather. "No one I knew had ever had this."
Three-year-old Kaitlyn Register of Caldwell, Idaho, had a classic case earlier this year -- a marked limp that followed a mild bout with the flu.
Roughly 100,000 U.S. children are diagnosed with the ailment each year, most between the ages of about 3 and 10. Boys are more commonly affected than girls.
Toxic synovitis probably results from an inflammatory response to a virus. The name comes from the synovial membrane lining the hip joint.
is a condition affecting children that causes hip pain and limping.
Synovitis - toxic; Transient synovitis
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Toxic synovitis is a frequent cause of limping with hip pain in children. It occurs in children prior to the onset of puberty and is a transient arthritis of the hip that usually resolves on its own. Its cause in not known but boys are affected more frequently than girls (approximately 4 to 1).
Symptoms are usually mild and generally include hip pain and a slight limp. The hip pain almost always involves only one side (unilateral). A low grade fever (usually less than 101 degrees) may be an early symptom. Aside from the hip discomfort, the child does not usually appear ill.
Toxic synovitis is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that it is diagnosed when other, more serious conditions, have been ruled out. In children there are three potentially serious diseases that can cause hip pain and limp: septic hip, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Once these other diagnoses have been excluded, then the diagnosis of toxic synovitis (which is the most common of all these diseases) is usually made.http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000981.htm
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