When parents fist learn that their child might have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), they often begin to picture the child acting like an older adult with joint pain. This form of arthritis in adults is actually very different than the major types of arthritis that affect children and can present with a range of symptoms like swelling, heat and pain in the joints. The types of JIA are:
- Systemic JIA
- Polyarticular arthritis, rheumatoid factor negative
- Polyarticular arthritis, rheumatoid factor positive
- Psoriatric arthritis
- Enthesitis-related arthritis
- Undifferentiated arthritis
The experts in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at Floating Hospital for Children in Boston treat the different types of arthritis by focusing on reducing pain and risk for joint damage. We provide early and accurate treatment plans so that we can help your child start to feel better and get back to being a kid as soon as possible.
Treatment for JIA often includes a combination of medications, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy and exercise, all supported by a healthy diet. In recent years this combination of treatments, strengthened by the use of new biological medications, has become very effective in reducing symptoms of JIA. Another recent innovation that has helped the effectiveness of these treatment plans is the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound guided injections of corticosteroids. Musculoskeletal ultrasound allows for better joint injection outcomes, more accurate diagnosis of joint and tendon problems and better follow up of therapeutic effects in children with JIA and other types of arthritis.
Another major key to your child’s long-term care is the support of a multidisciplinary team of specialists. Our pediatric rheumatologists work side-by-side with experts from pediatric ophthalmology, orthopedics, physical therapy, physiatry and social work to reduce any damage that the chronic pain of arthritis may have on your child’s development.
To make an appointment with our expert pediatric rheumatologists, please call 617-636-7285.