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What is Juvenile Arthritis?
- 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
- Weight loss
- Eye redness or eye pain
- Blurred vision
How is it diagnosed?
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.
The causes of JA
- Passed genetically through generations
- Related to environmental surroundings
- Result of bodily infections
Treatments (Who can treat it?)
- Physical Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Counselor or Psychologist
- Eye doctor
- Dentist and Orthodontist
- Bone Surgeon
- Social worker
- Rheumatology Nurse
- School Nurse
How can it be treated?
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.
Treatments' Main Goals
- help relieve pain
- reduce swelling
- increase joint mobility and strength
- prevent joint damage and complications