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Pediatrics/Unexplained leg pain


My 7 y/o daughter has been complaining about lower leg pain (calf and ankle), mostly in her right leg, on and off for the last year.  We thought it was growing pains but it usually happens only in the right leg.  She says the pain feels like a thumping, throbbing heartbeat and it is bad enough to make her cry.  There is no swelling, no redness or discoloration on the leg.  There is no fever associated with the pain either.  It has happened at all times of the day, but oftentimes it happens at night.  We have not noticed any activity that triggers it.  When I give her pain meds and it goes away.  Should we get an x-ray and/or MRI done on her leg?

Hi, suzi,

Getting an xray or an MRI on a leg is a step that might be done after a good history and exam and perhaps some blood work is done by your pediatrician.  Please see someone, go over the history, and have a good exam done.  It does sound like a growing pain situation, but one never can be sure and this is why a good look by a skilled pediatrician is the best place to start.

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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