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Pediatr Emerg Care. 1985 Mar;1(1):7-10.

The cause of gait disturbance in 425 pediatric patients.


Children who seek attention for painful or painless alteration of gait provide a challenge to the emergency department physician who confronts such cases. Children with acute onset of limp or refusal to walk may become the center of diagnostic and therapeutic concern in approximately 4 percent of pediatric patient encounters. The spectrum of diagnoses found in both the outpatient and inpatient populations is extensive. Among the diverse afflictions that can cause nontraumatic altered locomotion in children, infectious diseases predominate. This finding influences a liberal admission policy for patients with altered gait who may have historical, physical, or laboratory features suggestive of an infectious disease.

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