What is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis?
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the joints that affects teenagers and children who are 15 years or less. It is sometimes called juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis causes the lining of the joints to swell and release the liquid into the joint. The joints swell and become stiff, painful and warm to the touch.
What are the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis?
Symptoms can vary greatly from child to child. Your child can complain of joint pain or limp. Their joints may be very swollen and feel warm. Your child may also have stiffness in the morning or have trouble moving. You may notice that your child avoids normal activities. Your child's symptoms may come and go, and can be mild or severe. The symptoms may be short term or years.
How is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treated?
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and its symptoms damages the joints and eyes. However, it can be managed with treatment.
Your doctor may recommend your child a combination of treatments that may include medications to relieve pain, along with physical therapy and exercise. Physical therapy and exercise can help your child to maintain range of motion and strength without causing more damage to the joints.
What about surgery?
In rare cases, children need surgery to help treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. You may need surgery to repair soft tissue joints if they are bent or deformed. Joint replacement surgery may be needed if the joints are badly damaged.
However, with proper treatment, most children can finally live full, normal and even symptom-free.