Pediatric Hemarthrosis

Hemarthrosis happens when a child’s joints begin to bleed. At Children’s Health℠, we have a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists and researchers who help your child get the treatment they need to have a healthy, active life.

What is Pediatric Hemarthrosis?

Hemarthrosis is a condition where a child’s joints begin to bleed. This can happen because of a traumatic injury. It’s also common in kids with hemophilia, a condition where the blood can’t clot properly.

If hemarthrosis is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including permanent damage in your child’s joint. This can restrict movement and can sometimes cause disability. Hemarthrosis mostly happens in the knees, ankles and elbows. It also occurs in the shoulder, wrist and hip joints.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Hemarthrosis?

Symptoms of hemarthrosis include a combination of any of the following:

  • Joints that feel warm, have a tingling sensation or have increased swelling
  • Increased pain
  • A child not wanting to move their arm or leg because of joint pain

How is Pediatric Hemarthrosis diagnosed?

Our doctors diagnose this condition by evaluating your child’s symptoms and reviewing their medical history.

What causes Pediatric Hemarthrosis?

Depending on the severity of your child’s hemophilia, hemarthrosis can just happen or can result from a serious injury. Hemarthrosis can also occur if your child has any condition that affects blood clotting and makes them bleed more easily. For example, a minor injury, such as falling down or bumping into an object, may cause it. Children who don’t have hemophilia may get hemarthrosis after a traumatic injury.

How is Pediatric Hemarthrosis treated?

We use a number of different treatments for hemarthrosis, depending on your child’s symptoms and if they have an underlying condition like hemophilia.

For children with mild hemophilia

Hemarthrosis can happen in children with mild hemophilia who have a serious injury. After prompt clotting factor replacement therapy, these children can improve quickly, but they may also need more doses. This treatment reduces swelling and pain in the joint, making it easier to move.

For children with moderate to severe hemophilia

Children with moderate to severe hemophilia may experience hemarthrosis after an injury. They may also have spontaneous bleeding in their joints. Treatment includes prompt clotting factor replacement therapy and rehabilitation. Additional clotting factor replacement therapy may be needed to prevent spontaneous hemarthrosis.

Repetitive hemarthrosis

Repetitive hemarthrosis happens when kids have a bleed in the same joint at least three times within six months. These kids may develop something called “target joint.” This means there’s inflammation that’s causing damage and continued bleeding. We can refer you to an orthopedic surgeon who can remove the joint lining, which can help stop the bleeding.