Although it's commonly believed that arthritis only affects adults, children can also be affected by this crippling illness. Children under the age of sixteen who suffer from different forms of arthritis are referred to as having juvenile arthritis, also called paediatric arthritis. It is characterised by joint inflammation, which results in discomfort, edema, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.

Children's arthritis can be difficult to diagnose since its symptoms can be mild and mistaken for other conditions. It is imperative to receive early diagnosis and treatment to successfully control symptoms and avoid joint deterioration and impairment over time. To ensure prompt medical intervention, Dr Rajesh Kumar Verma, director & HOD-orthopedics, trauma & spine surgery, Marengo Asia hospital, Gurugram shares input on how to detect arthritis in children and highlight typical signs and symptoms that parents should be aware of.

How to diagnose arthritis in children

Diagnosing arthritis in children involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. Here are the key steps.

Medical history: A thorough medical history, encompassing the child's symptoms, duration, and any family history of autoimmune illnesses or arthritis, will be taken by the doctor. Any patterns, such as stiffness after waking up or swelling after physical exercise, should be noted by parents.

Physical examination: The physician will do a comprehensive physical examination, paying particular attention to the joints. They'll be on the lookout for symptoms including warmth, redness, swelling, and limited range of motion. The physician might also look for further signs of juvenile arthritis, such as fever, rash, or inflammation of the eyes.

Diagnostic tests: Blood testing can be used to find inflammatory and autoimmune activity indicators. Common tests include the rheumatoid factor (RF), C-reactive protein (CRP), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Antinuclear antibody (ANA) tests can also be useful in diagnosing specific types of juvenile arthritis.

Imaging tests: MRI, ultrasound, and X-ray scans can provide precise images of the joints and aid in determining the degree of damage and inflammation. These imaging scans are crucial for tracking the disease's course and ruling out other illnesses.

Common signs and symptoms to watch out for

Recognising the signs and symptoms of arthritis in children early is vital for effective management. Common symptoms include.

Joint discomfort and swelling: Extended discomfort and edema in one or more joints, frequently with redness and warmth. Also, Joints may feel sensitive to the touch and appear swollen.

Morning stiffness: Joint stiffness, especially in the morning or following periods of inactivity. The child can complain of being stiff or having trouble moving.

Limping or difficulty walking: Because of pain and discomfort, the kid may begin to limp or avoid using a certain joint. The child will have trouble running or walking and this might be a clear indicator.

Tiredness and irritability: Irritability and weariness can be brought on by chronic pain and inflammation. The child might seem incredibly worn out or grumpy.

Reduced range of motion: The child's ability to execute daily tasks is limited due to limited movement in the affected joints. To reduce pain, the youngster might refrain from doing specific actions.

Fever and rash: Fever and skin rashes are linked to certain forms of juvenile arthritis. These signs and symptoms could come up suddenly or during episodes.

Children's arthritis is a serious disorder that needs to be diagnosed early and treated thoroughly in order to avoid long-term problems.

2024-07-10T11:26:14Z dg43tfdfdgfd