Juvenile Arthritis

This presentation was created by

Livvy Dickson

What is Juvenile Arthritis?

The meaning of juvenile would be children from the ages of 16 and younger. Arthritis is a swelling of the tissue, synovium, of the joints. Juvenile arthritis is the swelling of the synovium tissue present in the joints of young children. This form of arthritis is known as an idiopathic disease, meaning the disease comes from unknown causes. Many scientists believe that juvenile arthritis is linked to genetics, environmental surroundings, and certain infections.


  • 294,000 children under the age of 18 are diagnosed with JA
  • More than 827,000 health care visits per year
  • First related diagnosis in America-Low 500 (Wyoming) High 38,000 (California)
  • 1 child in 1000 develops some form of JA


  • Can be asymptomatic
  • Those who do have symptoms may vary depending on what type of arthritis and how severe it is.
  • Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Pain, swelling, and tenderness in the joints
  • Limping (In younger children, it may appear that the child is not able to perform motor skills he or she recently learned.)
  • Persistent fever
  • Rash
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Eye redness or eye pain
  • Blurred vision
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How is it diagnosed?

Juvenile arthritis is hard to diagnose due to the fact that some youth may show no signs of the disease. There is not a specific test to determine if someone may have juvenile arthritis. A diagnosis is formed by excluding symptoms of other diseases. The doctor will do a complete and accurate medical background check and examination. More advances testings are also used to determine and conclude that someone may have the disease.

Advanced Medical Tests to diagnose JA

  • Complete blood count (white cells, red cells, and platelets)
  • Lab tests on blood or urine
  • X-rays (to rule out breaks or damage to bones)
  • Imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • Blood culture to check for bacteria, which could indicate an infection in the bloodstream
  • Tests for viruses
  • Tests for Lyme disease
  • Bone marrow exam (used to check for leukemia)
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate to see how quickly the red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube (The rate is faster in most people who have a disease that causes inflammation.)
  • Test for rheumatoid factor, an antibody that may be found in people with arthritis (An abnormal result is more common in adults than in children.)
  • Antinuclear antibody test to show evidence of autoimmunity (Autoimmunity is a disease state in which the body's defense system, the immune system, malfunctions and attacks the body itself. This test is also useful in predicting if eye disease will develop in children with juvenile arthritis.)
  • Bone scan to detect changes in bones and joints (This test may be ordered if the symptoms include unexplained pain in the joints and bone.)
  • Joint fluid sampling and synovial tissue sampling (Orthopedic doctor may perform)

By performing these tests, they're able to determine and elimate other diseases that may have relating symptoms as those who have juvenile arthritis would suffer.

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The causes of JA

As stated above, there are no knowledgeable causes of juvenile arthritis. Doctors believe that juvenile arthritis may be

  • Passed genetically through generations
  • Related to environmental surroundings
  • Result of bodily infections


Because the causes of juvenile arthritis are unknown, there are no ways to prevent a child from getting the disease.

Treatments (Who can treat it?)

Going to one therapist is a great way to get the disease treated. If the disease is tackled a group approach, the best results would come from it. A pediatric rheumatologist, a doctor trained to treat this disease and who manage's your child's care is the best solution. Other trainded specialists who can help the child may be

  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Counselor or Psychologist
  • Eye doctor
  • Dentist and Orthodontist
  • Bone Surgeon
  • Dietitan
  • Pharmacist
  • Social worker
  • Rheumatology Nurse
  • School Nurse

How can it be treated?

Guess what, JUVENILE ARTHRITIS IS CURABLE! Exercise and medication are the best ways to help children with Juvenile Arthritis. Depending on what type of arthritis one may have would effect the form of treatment taken.

NSAIDs is used to help reduce swelling and pain. DMARDs have the same results as NSAIDs, but the effect for it to take place is longer and the drugs are often prescribed as a combonation is NSAIDs. Corticosteroids and Slow-acting anti-inflamatory drugs (SAARDs) are also used to help reduce pain and swelling.

Form of therapy to help a child exercise and get the joints used to movement can be used to help reduce the swelling of the tissue. If the arthritis is severe, others may turn to surgery to replace a hip, elbow, or knee joint.

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Treatments' Main Goals

  • help relieve pain
  • reduce swelling
  • increase joint mobility and strength
  • prevent joint damage and complications

Support from Celebrities (Start at 4:10-7:10)

Juvenile Arthritis, affecting 300,000 Kids in the U.S.
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Juvenile Arthritis Junction

With arthritis, what is the age limit you must be in, in order to be diagnosed with juvenile arthritis?
What are different forms of treatment for juvenile arthritis?
What are the main goals of treatments for juvenile arthritis?
What are some symptoms of juvenile arthritis?
What is a word that means there are no symptoms?
Define juvenile Arthritis.