Gait or Limp

General or Other | General Practice | Gait or Limp (Symptom)


A limp is a type of asymmetric abnormality of the gait.


Limping may be caused by pain, weakness, neuromuscular imbalance, or a skeletal deformity. The most common underlying cause of a painful limp is physical trauma; however, in the absence of trauma, other serious causes such as septic arthritis, or slipped capital femoral epiphysis may be present.

The following medical conditions may be other possible causes of limping: leg injury, infection or pain; foot injury or infection; ankle injury; hip condition or injury, knee condition and pain; different length legs; obesity; poor posture; poorly fitting shoes; sciatica; neurological disorder; multiple sclerosis; brain tumor; spinal lesion.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of the cause of a limp is often made based on history, physical exam, laboratory tests, and radiological examination. If a limp is associated with pain it should be urgently investigated, while non-painful limps can be approached and investigated more gradually. A ultrasound or X-Ray guided aspiration of the hip joint maybe required to rule out an infectious process within the hip.