Navigation Links
Joint pain in children: Is it just a sore knee, or ... ?

While lab tests and imaging can sometimes help diagnose juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), a physical examination and thorough patient history are the most valuable tools in identifying this disease. According to a new literature review from the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), the rate of false positives in laboratory evaluations and imaging studies meant to screen for juvenile arthritis makes their value limited.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) is an autoimmune disease that affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States under the age of 18. The cause is not known, and it does not appear to be genetic, although some family members may suffer from other autoimmune disorders. Symptoms may include:

  • joint stiffness in the morning that improves later in the day;
  • pain, swelling, and tenderness in the joints;
  • limping or limits in range of motion;
  • high fever and light rash;
  • weight loss;
  • fatigue or irritability; and/or
  • red eyes or blurred vision.

Depending on the type of JIA, these symptoms can vary quite a bit. In fact, some young patients may not suffer any of these symptoms, but have a swollen joint that is discovered after another incident such as an injury.

"To establish a diagnosis of juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a matter of pattern recognition," says Marilynn Punaro, MD, a pediatric rheumatologist at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, and the author of this review. "Also, there is no lab test that can conclusively diagnose rheumatic diseaseyou have to rule out other common diagnoses. That is why a full physical exam is important, as well as a detailed patient history that will reveal other symptoms. If the patient has one swollen joint, the other joints should be examined because the diagnoses could be very different based on what is found in that exam."

Review details and findings:

  • If JIA is suspected, the orthopaedic surgeon should conduct an assessment of all peripheral joints, not just the joint or joints about which the patient is complaining.
  • Exquisitely painful, tender, or red joints are not typically diagnostic for JIA.
  • Oligoarticular JIA (where just a few joints are affected) is the most common type of JIA, affecting 60 percent of children with this disorder. The onset of this type of arthritis is usually between the ages of 1 and 3.
  • Treatment of juvenile arthritis is designed to reduce swelling, maintain full movement of affected joints, and relieve pain, and includes medications and physical therapy. Surgery may be indicated in rare cases. Some JIA patients' disease can go into remission.
  • Recent clinical trials are showing that with new drug treatments, remission will soon be a realistic goal for most patients.

"It is important to try and diagnose JIA early so treatment can begin," Punaro says. "If left untreated for months or years, there is a likelihood of long-term disability, growth problems or deformity. The disease can cause joint damage that is irreversible. The good news, though, is that when we do diagnose JIA, we have many excellent treatments available."


Contact: Lauren Pearson
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Related medicine news :

1. LA BioMed and CellSeed to launch joint research project on regenerative medicine technology
2. Inexpensive rinsing effective at reducing post-op infection following joint replacement surgery
3. NYU Langone Department of Orthopaedic Surgery chosen to participate in joint replacement registry
4. Biological joints could replace artificial joints soon
5. U.S. Needs National Registry for Joint Replacement Devices: Study
6. Painful Knees Often Tied to Pain in Other Joints
7. Study sheds light on aromatase inhibitor joint pain syndrome
8. Joint pain linked to breast cancer drug not inflammatory arthritis or autoimmune disease
9. NTU and A*STAR launch joint Ph.D. research program in immunology
10. U-M Medical School creates joint institute with Peking University
11. More Evidence That Glucosamine, Chondroitin Wont Help Ailing Joints
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub style will be available ... is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd Scrub Set 50% Off” ... at a discounted price. , IguanaMed’s mission is to outfit every healer ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Safe storage for contraceptive devices may not ... from Lakewood, New Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, New Jersey, there is ... the expense of having to replace NuvaRings more often than necessary. As such, it ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is back again with ProPanel: Pulse ... are endless. Users have full control over angle of view, speed method, start point, ... sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse offers fully customizable pulsating shape ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... According to an article published November 6th by ... University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets may not ... of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets have certainly prevented ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of ... ways to treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. ... Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 AAIPharma ... de geplande investering aan van ten minste ... laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra ... de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) has ... Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and ... report to their offering. Boston ... scientific and others. --> The ... Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... Global Cell Surface Testing Market: Supplier ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: