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Unexplained nighttime leg pain in preschooler
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Unexplained nighttime leg pain in preschooler

My 4 year old daughter has been experiencing unexplained leg pain for over 1 year.  The pain is not consistent and usually occurs about 2 to 3 nights out of each month.  She wakes screaming and describing pain at the front of the top of her foot, where the foot meets the leg.  She has no other notable symptoms, but I am concerned that the pediatrician's diagnosis for growing pains may be incorrect.  Please offer suggestions and please describe what 'growing pains' actually means.  Thank you!
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Dear Ms. Heider,

The term growing pains actually seems to represent a true phenomenon, though the precise reason(s) for the distress is not clear. So-called growing pains are experienced by generally healthy, growing children, often during the school or even pre-school years. Generally, the pains are located in the legs, and usually affect both legs. The pain can be quite distressing, similar to cramps, and thus can certainly result in children's crying as a result. It is thought that ligament or muscle stretching might be responsible for the pains.

Now, relative to your daughter's situation, the pediatrician may be correct. I am not qualified to comment in this area, but you might, for your own satisfaction, seek the opinion of a pediatric orthopedic specialist.
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