Diagnostic Tests for Limping
Diagnostic Test list for Limping:
The list of diagnostic tests
mentioned in various sources as
used in the diagnosis of Limping
- Inspect gait
- Ask person to walk normally for a few metres and then turn around and walk back. Observe nature of gait disturbance or limp - e.g. stroke will cause foot to be dropped down and the leg to be swung out in a sideways arc; if walking with the leg deviated inwards towards the other leg and the foot slightly turned outwards, the likely diagnosis is osteoarthritis.
- Ask person to walk heel-to-toe (to exclude midline pathology of the cerebellum)
- Ask person to walk on toes (to detect a lesion of first sacral nerve)
- Ask person to walk on heels (to detect a lesion of the 4th or 5th lumbar nerve which causes the foot to drop)
- Ask person to squat and then stand up - to detect proximal myopathy (i.e. disease of the muscles in thigh).
- Physical examination
- Inspect and feel legs for size and symmetry, any bruises, swellings, discoloration, tenderness, ulcers or rashes. If focal tenderness, swelling or redness of the skin this may suggest cellulitis or osteomyelitis. If there is tenderness without swelling or redness this may suggest bursitis
- Examine lumbosacral spine, if suspect limp may be due to spinal pathology
- Neurological examination to test for nerve root problems - e.g. test power, tone, reflexes, co-ordination and sensation in the lower limbs.
- Examine joints for limitation of motion
- Measure leg length to detect inequalities
- Blood tests
- Full blood count and ESR
- Arthritis screen depending on suspicion including Rheumatoid factor, ANA and ENA antibodies, HLA-B27
- Uric acid
- Radiological examination
- X-ray of leg
- X-ray of the leg joints, if suspect pathology of joints
- X-ray of lumbosacral spine
- CT Scan or MRI of lumbosacral spine
- CT Scan of hip
- MRI hip is especially important if suspect diagnosis of avascular necrosis
- MRI knee may be indicated to diagnose torn menisci
- Ultrasound of hip (now sensitive for detecting fluid in the hip joint and may help in diagnosing septic arthritis, osteomyelitic abscesses, transient synovitis)
- Bone Scan will help diagnose obscure fractures and osteomyelitis, both of the lumbar spine and the lower extremities
- CT Scan brain, if suspect stroke
- Synovial fluid analysis and culture - should be done if suspect joint pathology and if there is sufficient joint fluid.
Conditions listing medical symptoms: Limping:
The following list of conditions
have 'Limping' or similar
listed as a symptom in our database.
This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete.
Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause
of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which
include a symptom of Limping or choose View All.
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