Pediatric osteoarthritis is uncommon, but can cause pain and stiffness in the joints that makes it hard for a child to move.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that happens when the cartilage in the joints breaks down over time, causing pain during movement. It most commonly begins during middle age, due to wear and tear on the joints. In some cases, it may begin in childhood. When symptoms begin in childhood, it is called secondary or early-onset osteoarthritis.
Pediatric osteoarthritis may be caused by:
Congenital (from birth) abnormalities — If your child is born with a dislocated hip at birth, or another physical abnormality that puts pressure on a joint, it is possible they may develop osteoarthritis.
Congenital diseases — If your child is born with a disease that weakens the bone or prevents blood from reaching certain parts of the body, they may develop osteoarthritis in that area.
Genetic conditions — Certain genetic conditions affect the way your child’s bones and tissues grow and may lead to osteoarthritis. Examples include dwarfism and hypermobility (joints that move beyond the normal range of motion).
Traumatic injury — Injures that occur due to a car accident or other high impact trauma can lead to long-term damage and osteoarthritis.
The most common symptoms of pediatric osteoarthritis include: