JUVENILE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Description:

Inflammation (swelling) of the synovium in children aged 16 or younger.

Symptoms:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Joint stiffnes (in morning)
  • Irritability
  • Fevers
  • Rashes (on skin,knuckles,cheeks etc.)
  • Weight loss
  • Eye problems
  • reduced range of motion
  • warm and swollen joints
  • limping
  • redness in the affected area
  • swollen lymph nodes

Causes

  • Autoimmunity
  • Autoinflammatory disorders
  • Genetic makeup of the child-heredity
  • Viruses or other infections

Risk Factors

  • Common among girls (some forms)
  • Children with a family history of the disease

Diagnostic Tests

  1. Check for inflammation:
    1. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein test
  2. Anti-CCP antibodies test
  3. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) Test
  4. Check for Rheumatoid factor
  5. Check for Cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP)

Differential Diagnosis

Imaging scans (to rule out possibilites of infections & fractures)

Treatments

  • Helping the child to maintain normal level of physical and social activity
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Painkillers
  • Surgery (to replace joints)
  • Physical therapy
  • Serial casting of the knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, and/or elbows.
  • Heating packs or a hot bath (for joint pains and stifffness)

Medications

  • Corticosteroids
  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers.
  • Immune suppresants
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
  • Complementary and alternative therapies (accupunture, massage)

Lifestyle Management

  • Balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Physical Therapy ( to build strength & restore flexibility)/
  • Applying cold packs or taking hot showers