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- 1 What is Juvenile Arthritis?
- 2 Causes of Juvenile Arthritis
- 3 Types of Juvenile Arthritis
- 4 Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis
- 5 Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis
What is Juvenile Arthritis?
Juvenile arthritis is a disease in which there is inflammation (swelling) of the synovium in children aged 16 or younger. The synovium is the tissue that lines the inside of joints.
Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease. That means the immune system, which normally protects the body from foreign substances, attacks the body instead. The disease is also idiopathic, which means that no exact cause is known.
Causes of Juvenile Arthritis
No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop Juvenile Arthritis.
Some research points toward a genetic predisposition to juvenile arthritis, which means the combination of genes a child receives from his or her parents may cause the onset of Juvenile Arthritis when triggered by other factors.
Types of Juvenile Arthritis
- Systemic arthritis also called Still’s disease, can affect the entire body or involve many systems of the body. Systemic juvenile arthritis usually causes high fever and a rash. The rash is usually on the trunk, arms, and legs. Systemic juvenile arthritis can also affect internal organs, such as the heart, liver, spleen, and lymph nodes, but usually not the eyes.
- Polyarthritis also called polyarticular arthritis, involves five or more joints in the first six months of the disease — often the same joints on each side of the body. This type of arthritis can affect the joints in the jaw and neck as well as those in the hands and feet. This type also is also more common in girls than in boys and more closely resembles the adult form.
- Oligoarthritis also called pauci-articular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, affects fewer than five joints in the first six months that the child has the disease. The joints most commonly affected are the knee, ankle, and wrist. Oligoarthritis can affect the eye, most often the iris. This is known as uveitis, iridocyclitis, or iritis. This type of arthritis is more common in girls than in boys, and many children will outgrow this disease by the time they become adults.
- Psoriatic arthritis, with psoriatic arthritis, children have both arthritis and a skin disease called psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis in a parent or sibling. Typical signs of psoriatic arthritis include nail changes and widespread swelling of a toe or finger called dactylitis.
- Enthesitis, Related Arthritis is a form of JIA that often involves attachments of ligaments as well as the spine. This form is sometimes called a spondyloarthropathy. These children may have joint pain without obvious swelling and may complain of back pain and stiffness.
Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis
- Stiffness when awakening.
- Pain, swelling, and tenderness in the joints
- reluctance to use an arm or leg
- reduced activity level
- persistent fever
- Difficulty with fine motor activities-In younger children, it may appear that the child is not able to perform motor skills he or she recently learned.
- Weight loss
- Eye redness or eye pain
- Blurred vision
Investigations for Juvenile Arthritis
Some of the other tests that might be ordered include:
- 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
- Bone marrow exam, which is used to check for leukemia
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (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.
- Antinuclear antibody test -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, which might be performed by an orthopedic surgeon.
Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis
- The first line of treatment involves a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. Examples of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Naprosyn), administered in a dose appropriate for the child’s weight. NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as stomachaches
- Disease modifying drugs—commonly called DMARDs—is added as a second-line treatment when arthritis does not respond to NSAIDs. DMARDs include methotrexate (Rheumatrex), leflunamide (Arava). Other DMARDs include hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), and drugs that block tumor necrosis factor (TNF), also called anti-TNF drugs.
- Corticosteroidsare also used to treat pain and swelling. Sometimes, before any other treatment is tried, steroids are given as an injection into the affected joint.
- Soft tissue releases of contractures. This involves cutting the muscles attached to an abnormally bent joint.
- Total joint replacement
- Other surgeries for juvenile arthritis are
- Osteotomy-which involves removing a wedge of bone to allow more normal alignment of the joint. It may be recommended for children who have severe joint
- Arthodesis-It involves fusing two bones in a diseased joint so that the joint can no longer move.
- Synovectomy-Synovectomy involves the removal of the joint lining (synovium) and/or the covering of the tendon (tenosynovectomy) to reduce joint inflammation.
- -In this surgery, the portion where growth occurs is removed in order to stop growth.
Physical therapy for Juvenile Arthritis
The goals of these activities are to improve joint flexibility and build strength and endurance. In some cases, the physical therapist constructs splints to control joint contracture (stiffness in the joint caused by structural changes in tissues surrounding joints, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which prevent full extension) or deformity.
Regular exercise can help keep muscles strong, protecting joints and helping to maintain range of motion.
Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis
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.
Unpredictable flares – Sometimes, children and teenagers with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can go a long time, even months or years, without their disease bothering them. Then it comes back. This is called a flare-up or flare.
Growth problems –The inflammation of JA can affect how a child or teenager’s body grows. At first, there is an increase in growth of the bones in the affected joints because of increased blood flow to these joints. Over time, there is less growth of the bone because inflammation causes the growth plate (area of the bone where growth takes place) to close early. Occasionally, if the JIA is severe, a child or teenager’s overall growth (height) might be slow.
Children who have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis typically experience long periods of remission, especially with the onset of puberty. Remission occurs in about 75 percent of cases, with minimal deformity or loss of function.
Homoeopathy Treatment for Juvenile Arthritis
Welling Homeopathy Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis involves specially formulated treatment that can help you recover completely from Juvenile Arthritis. Meet our specialist today to know more about our Homeopathy Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis.