ZocdocAnswersIs my child dragging his foot because of torticollis?

Question

Is my child dragging his foot because of torticollis?

My child had a fever last weekish. Now he is dragging his foot a little. I've read about it online - could this be torticollis?

Answer

Torticollis is a medical condition in which spasm or contraction of muscles on the sides of the neck make the head twist to one side. Therefore, torticollis doesn't really have anything to do at all with symptoms like trouble walking, dragging the foot, etc. (although sometimes a child with torticollis may appear to walk a bit funny because they have trouble moving straight ahead with their neck twisted). Any time a child has a limp or trouble walking, especially if this is a new development, this needs to be checked out by a doctor. I would be especially concerned by the history of recent fever, and your doctor will also be interested to know if there is continuing fever, rash, pain in the leg, or any other concerning symptoms. One relatively common serious infection that children can get is something called osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection. This often can present gradually and subtlely as pain in a limb or a limp. Your doctor will be able to rule out this infection most likely with a good examination and some basic blood tests, as well as looking for other potential causes of this limp. Make an appointment with your pediatrician right away!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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