It's not Just Growing Pains: A Guide to Childhood Muscle, Bone, and Joint Pain, Rheumatic Diseases, and the Latest Treatments

By Thomas J. A. Lehman | Go to book overview

1
Growing Pains?
Little Jennifer S. was fourteen months old when her mother noticed that she did not want to put her left foot firmly on the floor when she was taken out of her crib one morning. She did not seem to walk right for a few minutes, but an hour later she seemed fine. It did not happen again until a couple of weeks later. After six weeks, Jennifer’s mother noticed that it was happening more frequently. She mentioned this to the pediatrician when Jennifer was in for her immunizations one afternoon. The pediatrician wiggled Jennifer’s leg around, watched her walk a few feet, and reassured Jennifer’s mother that she was fine. When Mrs. S. called the pediatrician a month later to discuss bringing her in, she was told it was probably just “growing pains.” By the time Jennifer was seen in the pediatric rheumatology clinic at the age of two years, the left knee was markedly swollen, she could not straighten her left leg out all the way, and the muscles of her left leg were much weaker than the right side. Jennifer had obvious arthritis. Reassured by what the pediatrician had told her, her mother had continued to believe Jennifer just had growing pains until Jennifer screamed when the nurse tried to straighten her leg at her two-year-old checkup.
Things you need to know
Growing pains never occur during the daytime.
No matter how severe the pain at night, children with growing pains are always fine the next morning.
Any child with pain on waking up in the morning or during the day requires a full medical evaluation.

-3-

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