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Learning About Pediatric Rheumatology

Understanding pediatric rheumatologic conditions may help you and your family better cope with your child’s disease. At the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, one of the more common conditions we treat is arthritis. This disease causes inflammation of the joints and is accompanied by symptoms of swelling, limited motion and pain.

Many forms of arthritis may occur in children under the age of 18. They can be caused by reactions to infections or viruses or by inflammatory diseases, such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis. If left untreated, arthritis can damage the joints and surrounding tissue, which can alter growth, and in some cases involving the legs, cause walking difficulties and hip and back problems. Some patients may also develop inflammation of the eye, which if not recognized and treated, can result in scarring of the lens and permanent vision damage.

Another rheumatic condition treated by our program is periodic fever syndrome – a disorder resulting from a heightened inflammatory response. Children with this disease may experience three or more cases of unexplained, non-infectious fever that occur at least seven days apart over the course of six months.

When diagnosed early and treated effectively, patients with pediatric rheumatic conditions can have improved outcomes. Sometimes their disease may even go into remission.

As part of Atlantic Health System Children's Health, physician services are provided by Atlantic Medical Group and are on staff at Goryeb Children's Hospital. Other pediatric rheumatic conditions that we treat at our program include: