Guillain-Barré Syndrome Presenting as Unilateral Hip Pain in a Child

Charalambos Neocleous, Konstandinos Diakolios, Alkistis Adramerina, Evangelos Varveris, Vasiliki Tsioni, Konstandina Machairidou


Objective. The aim of this report is to highlight the importance of close observation and follow-up in children who present with an acutely irritable hip. This is because hip pain is a symptom of not only benign but also severe conditions. Thus, at the time of the initial presentation, hip pain can be misdiagnosed. This report serves as an example for a wide range of doctors such as orthopaedic surgeons, paediatricians, emergency room physicians or primary care physicians, because these are the first-line doctors who treat patients with a painful hip. Case report. We herein present a three-year-old child who was admitted to our hospital with pain in the right leg and initially diagnosed with
transient synovitis of the hip. An additional examination two days later, after severe deterioration of the clinical picture, revealed that our patient was actually suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome. Failure to diagnose Guillain-Barré syndrome and initiating prompt treatment is potentially life-threatening. Conclusion. Clinicians should be aware that hip pain could be the presenting complaint of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a syndrome that has many clinical features. Even when all the clinical and laboratory findings indicate a benign condition, Guillain-Barré syndrome should still be considered. Therefore, close observation and follow-up in children who present with an acutely irritable hip is highly recommended. In this way, the potentially catastrophic consequences of more severe conditions can be avoided.


Guillain-Barré syndrome; Transient synovitis of the hip; Hip pain; Acute irritable hip

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