Pediatric rheumatology is a medical discipline that strives to address arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in children. What does pediatric rheumatology involve? What causes rheumatic conditions in children? What can doctors do to help?
Rheumatologists deal a lot with arthritis, but “arthritis” is a broad term that takes in more than a hundred unique conditions.
Doctors will diagnose rheumatic conditions by taking note of symptoms such as swelling and stiffness in the joints, a limited range of motion, and pain in the joints, muscles or other bodily structures. Some conditions may also come with fever, weakness or rash. A skilled rheumatologist will make note of all symptoms and perform tests to determine which condition is affecting the child.
Examples of Rheumatic Conditions
There are many more rheumatic conditions than listed here, but some of the most common conditions that we treat at TSRHC include:
- Juvenile arthritis
Other reasons for referral may include:
- · Prolonged joint swelling or pain
- · Non-traumatic musculoskeletal pain
- · Weakness
- · Rash
- · Fever of unknown origin
Causes of Rheumatic Conditions in Children
Scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact causes for most rheumatic conditions. However, there are several factors that may play a role in the occurrence of these diseases. Genetics, trauma, infection, certain hormones, strenuous wear and tear on joints, and metabolic disturbances could all have something to do with the onset or worsening of rheumatic conditions.
Pediatric Rheumatology and TSRHC
In 1956, the hospital established one of the country’s first pediatric rheumatology clinics. Today the clinic is led by internationally recognized pediatric rheumatologist Marilynn Punaro, M.D. TSRHC’s rheumatology clinic is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier clinical treatment and research centers for rheumatic conditions, including juvenile arthritis, dermatomyositis and scleroderma.
For more information about becoming a patient at TSRHC, please visit www.tsrhc.org/becoming-a-patient or contact our patient access department at (214) 559-7477.
Meet the Prevou family, whose struggle with an advanced form of arthritis led researchers at TSRHC to conduct a genetic study of the disease. The study resulted in better treatment methods for the three Prevou brothers, all now in college, and others suffering from PAPA syndrome.