Limping

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Limping refers to any type of difficulty that occurs while walking. Limping can be considered to be a form of walking that favors the use of one leg over another and is most commonly due to diseases of or damage to the legs and feet, including all of the structures such as muscles, bones, joints, blood vessels, and nerves that make up the lower extremities.

Limping can result from either an acute (having a recent onset) or chronic (long-term) condition. Injuries such as bone fractures, sprains, and strains are common causes of limping. Arthritis and congenital malformations (birth defects) are other potential causes. Limping can also result from conditions that damage the central nervous system, such as cerebral palsy. Depending on the precise cause, limping may be treatable in some cases or its severity may be reduced through the use of medications and/or surgical interventions.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/22/2012

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Limping
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      Ankle Pain Article
      • Ankle pain and ankle tendinitis facts
      • How is the ankle designed, and what is the ankle's function?
      • What causes ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
      • What injuries can cause ankle pain, and how are they treated?
      • What diseases and conditions can cause ankle pain, and how are they treated?
      • What are associated symptoms and signs of ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
      • How are ankle pain and ankle tendinitis diagnosed?
      • What is the prognosis for ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
      • Is it possible to prevent ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
    • Birth Defects Birth defects have many causes and currently, are the leading cause of death for infants in the first year of life. Some of the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Birth Defects Article
      • Birth defects facts*
      • What are birth defects?
      • What causes birth defects?
      • What are the different types of birth defects?
      • What are the treatments for birth defects?
    • Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures such as compressed, open, stress, greenstick, spiral,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) Article
      • What is a broken bone (fracture)?
      • What causes a broken bone?
      • What are the most common types of broken bones?
      • Compression fracture
      • Skull fracture
      • Stress fracture
      • What are the most common bones that are broken?
      • Broken hand or fingers
      • Broken wrist
      • Broken hip
      • Broken leg
      • Broken toe
      • Broken shoulder
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a broken bone?
      • When should I call a doctor if I think I have broken a bone?
      • How is a broken bone diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a broken bone?
      • What about surgery for a broken bone?
      • How can fractures be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for a broken bone?
    • Cellulitis Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth,...learn more »
    • Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy (CP) is an abnormality of motor function and postural tone acquired at an early age (even before birth). Cerebral...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cerebral Palsy Article
      • Cerebral palsy facts
      • What is cerebral palsy?
      • What are causes of cerebral palsy?
      • What are symptoms and signs of cerebral palsy?
      • What are the types of cerebral palsy?
      • What is spastic cerebral palsy?
      • What is dyskinetic cerebral palsy?
      • What is ataxic cerebral palsy?
      • What is dystonic cerebral palsy?
      • What is choreoathetoid cerebral palsy?
      • What is hypotonic cerebral palsy?
      • What is mixed cerebral palsy?
      • What other conditions are associated with cerebral palsy?
      • How is a child evaluated for cerebral palsy?
      • How is cerebral palsy treated?
      • What are specific treatment plans for cerebral palsy?
      • What is the long-term outlook for patients with cerebral palsy?
    • Gout (Gouty Arthritis) Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Gout (Gouty Arthritis) Article
      • Gout facts
      • What is gout?
      • What causes gout?
      • What are risk factors for gout?
      • What are symptoms and signs of gout?
      • How is gout diagnosed?
      • When should gout be treated?
      • What is the treatment for gout?
      • Do gout medications have any side effects?
      • What foods should people with gout avoid?
      • What complications are associated with gout?
      • What is the prognosis of gout?
      • Is it possible to prevent gout?
      • What research is being done on gout?
    • Hamstring Injury Hamstring injuries may range from minor strains to major ruptures. A hamstring injury causes spasm, tightness, and tenderness....learn more »
      In This Article
      Hamstring Injury Article
      • What are the hamstrings?
      • What is the function of the hamstrings?
      • What causes hamstring injuries, and what are types of hamstring injuries?
      • What are symptoms and signs of injury to the hamstring muscles?
      • How are hamstring injuries diagnosed?
      • How are hamstring injuries treated?
      • Can hamstring injuries be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for hamstring injuries?
      • Where can one find more information about hamstring injuries?
      • Hamstring injury facts
    • Herniated Disc A herniated disc may be caused by injury or degeneration from age. Symptoms depend on the location of the herniation and whether...learn more »
      In This Article
      Herniated Disc Article
      • Herniated disc facts
      • How are the spine and its discs designed?
      • What is a herniated disc? What causes it?
      • What are symptoms of a herniated disc?
      • How is a herniated disc diagnosed?
      • How is a herniated disc treated?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for a herniated disc?
      • Can a herniated disc be prevented?
    • Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. Potential causes include injections around the bone, fractures that puncture the skin,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Osteomyelitis Article
      • Osteomyelitis facts
      • What is osteomyelitis?
      • What causes osteomyelitis?
      • What are osteomyelitis symptoms and signs?
      • How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for osteomyelitis?
      • What is the prognosis for osteomyelitis?
    • Peripheral Vascular Disease Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Peripheral Vascular Disease Article
      • Peripheral vascular disease facts
      • What is peripheral vascular disease?
      • What is atherosclerosis?
      • How does atherosclerosis cause disease?
      • What are potential complications of peripheral artery disease?
      • What are the other causes of peripheral vascular diseases?
      • Who is at risk for peripheral artery disease?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of peripheral artery disease?
      • How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?
      • What are the treatments for peripheral artery disease?
      • Lifestyle changes
      • Supervised exercise
      • Medications
      • Angioplasty
      • Surgery
    • Pinched Nerve A pinched nerve causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area due to pressure on a nerve. Caral tunnel and sciatica are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pinched Nerve Article
      • What is a pinched nerve?
      • What are the risk factors for a pinched nerve?
      • What causes a pinched nerve?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve?
      • How is a pinched nerve diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a pinched nerve?
      • What is the prognosis for a pinched nerve?
      • Can a pinched nerve be prevented?
    • Polio A polio infection causes symptoms and signs such as paralysis, limb deformities, and even death. There is no curative treatment...learn more »
      In This Article
      Polio Article
      • Polio facts
      • What is polio?
      • What is the history of polio?
      • What causes polio?
      • What are risk factors for polio? How does polio spread?
      • What are polio symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose polio?
      • What is the treatment for polio?
      • What is the prognosis of polio?
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      • Polio-like illness
    • Psoriatic Arthritis Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Psoriatic Arthritis Article
      • Psoriatic arthritis facts
      • What is psoriatic arthritis?
      • What causes psoriatic arthritis?
      • What are risk factors for developing psoriatic arthritis?
      • What are psoriatic arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • How does the doctor diagnose psoriatic arthritis?
      • What is the treatment for psoriatic arthritis?
      • Disease-modifying medications
      • What are complications of psoriatic arthritis?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with psoriatic arthritis?
      • Can psoriatic arthritis be prevented?
      • Is there a psoriatic arthritis diet?
      • What does the future hold for patients with psoriatic arthritis?
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rheumatoid Arthritis Article
      • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) facts
      • What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • What are causes and risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • What are complications of rheumatoid disease?
      • How do physicians diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • "First-line" rheumatoid arthritis medications
      • "Second-line" or "slow-acting" rheumatoid arthritis drugs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs)
      • What are newer treatments for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis diet and other treatments
      • What about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What research is being done on rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Where can people get additional information on rheumatoid arthritis?
    • Septic Arthritis Septic arthritis, or infectious arthritis, is infection of one or more joints by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Symptoms and signs...learn more »
      In This Article
      Septic Arthritis Article
      • Septic arthritis facts
      • What is septic arthritis?
      • What microbes cause septic arthritis?
      • Who is at risk of developing septic arthritis?
      • What are symptoms and signs of septic arthritis?
      • How do physicians diagnose septic arthritis?
      • How is septic arthritis treated?
      • What are complications of septic arthritis?
      • What is the prognosis of septic arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent septic arthritis?
    • Sprains and Strains An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sprains and Strains Article
      • Muscle sprains and strains facts
      • What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
      • What causes a sprain or strain?
      • Where do sprains and strains usually occur?
      • What are sprain symptoms and signs?
      • How are sprains and strains diagnosed?
      • How are sprains and strains treated?
      • What is the recovery time for sprains and strains?
      • Can sprains and strains be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis of sprains and strains?
      • Where can people find more information about sprains and strains?
    • Vasculitis Vasculitis is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases which feature inflammation of the blood vessels. Each form of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Vasculitis Article
      • Vasculitis facts
      • What is vasculitis?
      • What causes vasculitis, and what are examples of diseases with vasculitis?
      • What are the symptoms of vasculitis?
      • How is vasculitis diagnosed?
      • How is vasculitis treated?
Other Causes of Limping
Examples of Medications for Limping


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