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Flashcards in abnormal gait Deck (30):

Causes of abnormal gait

Septic arthritis
Rheumatic fever
Transient synovitis
Trauma - accidental and non accidental
Neuro - Guillain Barre syndrome, Cerebral palsy, CV accident
Development dysphasia of hip
Perthe's disease
Slipped upper femoral epiphysis
Duchenne's muscular dystrophy
Talipes equinovarus, toe walking, genuine Valgum/Varum, pets plannus, in toeing.


How do disorders of the hip usually present and what are the DDX

Pain which can sometimes be to the knee
Developmental dysphasia of hip
Perthe's disease
Slipper upper femoral epiphysis
Transient synovitis


DDX for leg pain and limp

Growing pain
Transient synovitis
Septic arthritis
Legg- Perthes disease
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis
Neoplastic disease - red flag


Growing pains

Occur in preschool children
Pain at night with no limp by day
Often bilateral
Shins or thighs
Prominently muscular not bone
Otherwise health child
Doesn't stop them functioning in activities
If refusal to walk, pressure of a limp, warm, tenderness, swelling or constitutional symptoms then look for other diagnosis


Transient synovitis

Benign and common in boys aged 2-8
Sudden onset limp
Otherwise well
Often preceded by URTI
All Ix come back normal


Septic arthritis

Common in infant and toddler
Child looks septic
Swollen hot joint - can't see in hip
May be Febrile
Ix high WCC and CRP. X-ray shows widening of joint space. Joint aspiration show purulent joint fluid.



Swelling, erythema, tenderness with decreased movement of limb
Ix - High CRP, WCC and Dx on X-ray, CT or MRI


Legg-Perthes disease

Defined as Osteochondritis leading to a vascular necrosis of femoral head.
4:1 male to female ratio, 4-11yrs with peak at 4-7 years
Presentation - May follow transient synovitis, initially painless. Pain and limp when fracture occurs
Dx by X-ray or MRI


Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

Occurs in overweight teenage boys
Presentation - gradual onset of pain in groin or knee
Dx by X-ray


Neo plastic disease

Presentation - pain, tenderness and mass
Gnawing pain in leukaemia
Ix - Xray - destructive mass on X-ray


Causes of acute limp

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis
Accidental and non accidental injury


Talipes Equinovarus

Common in newborns as a transient postural deformity
Rarely more fixed deformity
Needs physiotherapist and surgery if persistent


Common causes of abnormal gait in toddler 1-4 yr

Developmental dysphasia of the hip
Toddlers fracture
Transient synovitis of the hip - irritable hip
Child abuse


Common causes of abnormal gait in 4-10 yr olds

Transient synovitis of the hip
Perthes disease


Common cause of abnormal gait in adolescent greater then 10yr

Slipped upper femoral epiphysis
Overuse syndromes/stress fracture.


Hx question for a child with abnormal gait

Complete refusal to wt bear
Trauma -
Preceding illness eg viral infection before transient synovitis or reactive arthritis
Fever or systemic symptoms suggests infective or inflammatory causes
Pain - site and severity.
Morning stiffness
Previous injuries or child protection concerns


What to examine with a child with abnormal gait

Gait eg running may exaggerate a limp
Neurological examination for ataxia and weakness
Generalised lymphadenopathy - viral infection/haematological cause
Excessive bruising or bruising in unusually places - NAI or haematological cause
Abdomen, scrotum and inguinal area - masses
Bony tenderness
All joint - pain, sacroiliac joints and spine - flex ion and midline tenderness may be discitis. Exaggerated lordosis in discitis. Hip abduction and internal rotation.


Ix for child with joint pain

In less then 3 days = nothing
Discuss with senior staff
Blood - FBC, CRP, ESR and BC.
Xray for Perthes/SUFE, Chronic osteomyelitis, tumours, developmental dysphasia of hips ( more then 6 m)
USS - Septic hip
Bone scan - osteomyelitis, discitis, Perthes, occult fracture
CT/MRI - Only after orthopaedic consultation.


Common organism that causes Osteomyelitis and septic arthritis

Staph aureus, GAS and Haemophilus influenza


How to differentiate between osteomyelitis and septic arthritis

Not using that limb and may have redness over effected area.
Osteomyelitis - Subacute onset of limp/non wt bearing and refusal to use limb. Localised pain and pain on movement, tenderness, soft tissue redness/swelling may not be present and may appear late. May or may not have fever.
Septic arthritis - Acute onset of limp/non wt bearing/refusal to use limb. Pain on movement and at rest. Limited range/loss of movement. Soft tissue redness/swelling often present. Fever.


Ix for osteomyelitis and septic arthritis

FBC, ESR, BC, Xray and bone scan (don't delay Tx for this)


Mx for septic arthritis and osteomyelitis

Surgical emergency - clean out joint
Refer to orthopaedics when suspected
Urgent aspiration, arthroscopy and washout with ABx Flucloxacillin


Define cerebral palsy

Unchanging disorder of movement and posture due to defect or lesion of the developing brain. It is non progressive


Has does cerebral palsy present

Delayed motor milestones - learning to site, stand and walk
Asymmetric movement patterns eg strong hand preference early in life
Abnormalities of muscle tone particularly spasticity or hypotonia
Difficult mx as there is severe feeding difficulties and unexplained irritability.


Associated disorders of cerebral palsy

Visual problems eg strabismus, reflective errors, visual field defects and cortical visual impairment
hearing deficits
Speech and language problems
Epilepsy about 50%
Cognitive impairments. Intellectual disability, learning problems and perceptual difficulties are common


Mx principles of cerebral palsy

1 accurate Dx and genetic counselling by clear Hx of pregnancy, birth and neonatal period. May need Ix such as urine/plasm metabolic screen, congenital infections, chromosomal analysis, radiological investigation - MRI - vascular lesion, malformation, periventricular leucomalacia
2 Mx of associated disabilities, health problems and consequences of the motor disorder
3 Assessment of the child's capabilites and referral to appropriate services for the child and family
4 Common presentations to the ED - Pneumonia or other Resp disease, Uncontrolled seizure/status epileptic us, irritability consider acute infections, Oesophagitis, dental disease hip subluxation, pathological fracture. Review medication


Developmental dysphasia of the hip

Presentation - stiff hip joint, Clicky hips, legs are different length, lean on affected side when standing, leg may turn outward on the affected side, skin folds may be uneven on affected side, Leg length discrepancy.
RF - breach, first born, girls, FmHx of DDH
Tx - splints, Closed reduction procedure, Open reduction surgery, Hip spices, Osteotomy


Disorder of the hip that present with pain and limp. Sometimes knee pain.

Developmental dysphasia of the hip
Perthe's disease
Slipper upper femoral epiphysis
Transient synovitis


Signs of serious joint disease

Pain, swelling, warmth and redness


Mx of ARF Joint swelling

Pain relief Aspirin or ibuprofen once Dx is confirmed otherwise just paracetamol.
Single dose of IM Benzathine penicillin
Secondary prophylaxis
Education and counselling for pt and family
Registered in centralised and local ARF/RHD registers
Promote good dental hygiene