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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Rheumatoid Arthritis

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Although many people believe that rheumatoid arthritis only affects adults, the disease can also affect infants and especially toddlers. However, the disease is not very common in paediatric practice.

SYMPTOMS: In a typical case, a toddler starts complaining of pain in one or more joints. The pain is more marked on getting up in the morning. Characteristically, the affected joint feels stiff in the early hours of the day and this stiffness becomes less marked as the day progresses. The affected joints become swollen and painful. They are hot to the touch. The classical presentation is swelling of the small joints of both hands. But in about half of the cases, only one big joint like the knee or ankle may be involved. The heart is usually spared.

The picture is different from rheumatic fever with involvement of joints (rheumatic arthritis). In this condition, the swelling in the involved joints persists for days together, whereas in rheumatic arthritis, the affected joint remains swollen for only a day or two, while another joint becomes painful and swollen. The first joint becomes completely normal while a third one is attacked (flitting joint involvement in rheumatic fever). Also, morning stiffness is typical of rheumatoid arthritis as is the involvement of the joints of the neck.

Your doctor will also keep in mind the other possibilities for the swelling like injury, local infection, scurvy (due to Vitamin C deficiency) and haemophilia (a bleeding disorder  due to a defect in the clotting of blood). 

He may also order some tests, especially in cases which are not typical or have less common manifestations like a skin rash, enlargement of the lymph glands, involvement of the heart and prolonged unexplained fever without swelling of joints.

TREATMENT: Keep in close touch with your doctor because the treatment may have to be prolonged. Fortunately, most cases recover completely, though some may grow into severe arthritis or cause damage to the eyes.




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
Abrasions or Scratches
Acute Glomerulonephritis
Acute Nephritis
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
Addictions
Adenoids
AIDS
Allergies
Anaemia
Anorexia (Poor Appetite)
Asthma
ADHD
Autism
Backache
Bed-Wetting (Enuresis)
Birth Deformities
Bites and Stings
Bleeding
Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
Bowlegs and Knock-Knees
Breathlessness
Bronchiolitis
Burns
Calcium Deficiency
Cancer
Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Chickenpox
Choking
Circumcision
Cleft Lip and Palate
Common Cold
Congenital Heart Disease
Constipation
Convulsions or Fits or Seizures
Cough
Croup
Crying
Cuts
Dengue Fever
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhoea, Dysentery ...
Diphtheria
Down's Syndrome
Earache, Ear Infections ...
Electric Shock
Encephalitis
Eye Problems
Fears
Foot Problems
German Measles (Rubella)
Glands in the Neck ...
Headache
Head Injury
Hepatitis
Hydrocephalus
Hypertension
Hypospadias
Influenza (Flu)
Jaundice
Joint Disorders
Kala-Azar
Leptospirosis
Limp and Pain in the Legs
Malaria
Malnutrition (Undernutrition)
Measles
Meningitis
Meningomyelocele
Menstrual Problems
Mental Retardation (MR)
Mouth To Mouth Breathing
Mumps
Nephrotic Syndrome
Nose-Related Problems
Obesity
Pneumonia
Poisoning
Poliomyelitis
Premature Baby
Prolapse of the Rectum
Rabies
Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rickets
Short Child
Skin Conditions
Sleep and Sleep Problems
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Splinters
Stammering
Stridor (Noisy Breathing)
Teething and Care of Teeth
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
Thrush
Thumb-Sucking
Tics
Torticollis
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
Tropical Eosinophilia
Tuberculosis (TB)
Typhoid
Umbilical Problems
Undescended Testis
Urinary Infection
Vaginal Discharge
Vomiting
Wheezing
Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
Home
Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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