A child’s immune system normally protects her from infection by attacking invaders such as viruses or other pathogens. In children with juvenile arthritis (also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or JIA), the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissue, causing inflammation, pain, stiffness and loss of motion in the joints. Symptoms must begin before your child turns 16 to be classified as juvenile arthritis.
At Children’s Health℠, we work closely with both you and your primary care provider so that everyone involved has the information they need to create the best outcomes for your child.
Although arthritis is more common in adults, approximately 1 child in every 1,000 is affected by juvenile arthritis each year. There are seven main types of juvenile arthritis:
There are several tests to diagnose juvenile arthritis in children. A doctor will go over your child's medical history and perform a physical exam. Your healthcare provider will also perform one or more of the following tests:
Although juvenile arthritis cannot be diagnosed using any single test, not every child will need all of the above tests. Your physician will tell you exactly what the next steps are.
Each year, the specialists at Children’s Health see more than 1,000 pediatric patients for juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic disorders. We have the skills and resources necessary to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for your child too.
The type and severity of your child’s arthritis will determine the treatment. Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Children’s Health is part of the largest and longest established multi-specialty clinic for children with rheumatic diseases in the region. In our rheumatology clinic, dedicated health care professionals help patients and their families manage diseases like juvenile arthritis.
Children’s Health uses a multidisciplinary approach to caring for your child. This allows us to offer our patients care from multiple specialists and experts, in a single appointment, at one location. If your child has symptoms of juvenile arthritis, contact us. We provide the comprehensive and individualized care necessary to put your child back on the path to a healthy life.
Juvenile arthritis is a group of diseases that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of motion in the joints of children. Most forms of juvenile arthritis are autoimmune disorders (diseases in which the child’s own immune system attacks healthy organs or tissue).
The exact cause of juvenile arthritis is unknown.
There are three common types of juvenile arthritis: oligoarticular, polyarticular and systemic.
If your child has symptoms of juvenile arthritis, you should have her evaluated by a physician. Symptoms may include pain, joint swelling, stiffness, limping, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and a pink skin rash.
Tests used to diagnose juvenile arthritis include blood tests, joint fluid analysis, and X-rays.
Treatments for juvenile arthritis may include medications, physical therapy, splinting, or surgery.