Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2016

Did You Know? Some forms of Juvenile RA are more common in girls

About 1 Child in Every 1,000 Develops Some Type of Juvenile Arthritis  

Smaller Bones and Joints Act Differently

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis is a term used to describe a group of long-lasting, chronic, inflammatory diseases that affect children under the age of 17. It is estimated that more than 300,000 children in the United States are living with some form of Rheumatoid Arthritis or another form of Rheumatic Disease.   

This resource is intended to help educate patients on what Juvenile Rheumatic Arthritis is, signs and symptoms, complications and next steps.    

01 | What is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, also known as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis in children. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis causes persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Some children may experience symptoms for only a few months, while others have symptoms for the rest of their lives. 

02 | Signs & Symptoms  

The most common signs and symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis are:

  • Pain - While children may not complain of joint pain, there may be noticeable limping first thing in the morning or after a nap
  • Swelling - Joint swelling is common but is often first noticed in larger joints like the knee
  • Stiffness – Child may appear to be clumsier than usual, particularly in the morning or after naps

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect one joint or many. In some cases, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the entire body, causing swollen lymph nodes, rashes and fever.   

03 | Complications  

Several serious complications can result from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Careful monitoring and appropriate care help reduce the risk of the following complications:

  • Eye problems - Some forms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause eye inflammation (uveitis). If this condition is left untreated, it may result in cataracts, glaucoma and even blindness. Eye inflammation frequently occurs without symptoms, so it's important for children with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis to be examined regularly by an ophthalmologist.
  • Growth problems - Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis can interfere with your child's growth and bone development. Some medications used to treat Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis can inhibit growth.

04 | Next Steps

There are many treatment options available for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Speak to your medical provider to establish a roadmap for care.  For additional resources visit: www.mayoclinic.org  

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