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Pediatrics/leg pain in eight yr old son with other health problems


QUESTION: My son started getting sick on Christmas Day this yr (2012). He had a fever of 101.2, starting complaining of nausea, stomach hurting, feeling weak, headache & not feeling well that evening. He asked for a bucket to put beside his bed while he slept. When I got up the next morning he had threw up in the bucket during the night. I asked him how many times he got sick & he said several but there wasn't much in the bucket so I'm not really sure if he really knows how many times. He didn't eat much the day before either so he could've threw up more than it looked like. Anyways, he didn't throw up anymore until the next night (Wednesday) right before bed time & only didn't it once. That day he was still complaining of all the same symptoms plus leg pain in his thighs & his fever started going away that evening. I had thought he was getting a little better several times during the day but it would end up coming back again. The next 2 days (Thursday & Friday) was the exact same but no throwing up. The only difference was the leg pain was a little worse. The pain is all over both thighs. He says its not in one specific spot & I've asked him several times during the day. It's not hurting him bad enough for him to cry but he's not doing anything but laying down. When he has to do anything he will crawl or scoot his self on the floor. He'll go so far then sit for a coupe mins & start again. I eventually just started carrying him. This is not like him at all. He has ADHD & is constantly "on the go".  He does get sick all the time but never complaining of leg pain. The only time he's complained with his legs was a couple months ago & his right knee had been hurting him for almost a week but the dr didn't do anything about it then. It eventually calmed down & he hasn't complained since. He can get something 3-4 times over a 3-4 month span then go about 3 months & not get sick at all. His symptoms are always the same...fever, body aches, weak & headache. I'm so tired of going to his pediatrician saying the same thing every time. They always say "well, kids his age typically tend to get a virus once a month". He has an 11 yr old brother & 6 yr old sister & he's around his cousins that are 2, 4, & 9 yrs old. No one ever catches this from him. We dont even keep them away from him anymore when he gets these symptoms. He has done this since he was very little. He was born on time with no problems. The only surgeries were have a clogged tear duct fixed & tonsils removed. My family does have health problems. His brother had osteomyelitis in his leg when he was almost 6 yrs old. He also had fibrous dysplasia on his forehead when he was 8 & had it removed then had to have surgery again a yr later because fluid had leaked to the dura layer through an opening at the sinuses that they didn't close during surgery. He also has an extra bone growing in his knee & a few other things that aren't as major. I have fibromyalgia & lots of other health problems. Everything weird always happens to us. Every time the drs keep telling me the "this is normal" crap then I usually keep pushing them til they find out what keeps causing my children's problems but they just won't budge with this one. Usually it ends up being something pretty serious. There has to be something I can do or somewhere else I can go. It's just unreal how a family can have so many health problems. If I wouldnt have pushed their drs so hard with my oldest sons problems then who knows what would've happened. Please give me some suggestions!!!


I can appreciate your frustration.  This is indeed, as your doctor has said to you, the time of year where some kids go from one viral illness to another.  With the leg pain being in both legs, it is highly unlikely that this is osteomyelitis, and much more likely that this is the muscle aches (myalgias) that can be a very prominent symptom in viral illnesses.  This should improve over a few days.  If the pain in the legs continues to be a significant symptom for longer than that, a careful history and exam and perhaps some blood work looking a muscle enzymes and signs of inflammation might be done.

Good luck, Dr. Olson and hope that the New Year brings you folks better health.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: He doesn't just get sick during this time of year though. It is literally all year long. Not one single person catches anything from him. Not is younger sister (6yrs old), older brother (11yrs old), or cousins (2,4&9yrs old). I would not have a problem understanding it being just a virus if someone would actually get the same thing every once in a while but no one ever does.


If he is getting sick far more than the average kid, it might be reasonable to check his immune system with some specific blood tests to be sure everything is normal.  It probably will be, but checking might reveal something and if normal, would be reassuring.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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