What is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

Posted on August 31st, 2022 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common arthritis type among children and teenagers. Like arthritis in adults, the condition causes joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the body’s joints, most often the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for JIA but remission (little or no disease and symptoms present). As a result, treatment involved with the condition is about symptom management and preventing progression. An expert orthopaedist specializing in arthritis can help form the best treatment plan to reduce damage and manage pain and discomfort.  

Types of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

These are the six types of JIA: 

  • Oligoarthritis – This type of arthritis most commonly impacts the knees, ankles, and elbows, but fewer than five joints are always affected. It is more common in girls and is often outgrown by adulthood to be in remission. 
  • Polyarthritis – This arthritis type will affect five or more joints, often the same on each side of the body; typically, the neck, jaw, and smaller joints. This type is also more common in girls and accounts for about 20% of JIA diagnoses. 
  • Psoriatic arthritis – Children with both arthritis and psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by raised red patches and skin lesions with a buildup of dead skin cells, may develop psoriatic arthritis.
  • Enthesitis-related arthritis – Also known as spondyloarthropathy, this condition will typically affect the joints in the spine, hips, and enthuse, or the points where the tendons and ligaments attach to the bones. This arthritis is most common in boys older than seven. 
  • Systemic arthritis – Also known as Still’s disease, this arthritis type not only affects the joints but also causes persistent fevers and rashes. Internal organs such as the heart, liver, and lymph nodes may also be affected. 
  • Undifferentiated – In cases where there is joint inflammation, and the other symptoms don’t perfectly match one of the above types, the JIA may be characterized as undifferentiated.  

Symptoms of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

The most common signs and symptoms of JIA include: 

  • Joint pain and stiffness; may be worse after waking up or resting in one spot for a long period
  • Joints that are red, warm, swollen, and tender
  • Intense feelings of fatigue
  • Blurry vision or dry eyes
  • Rash
  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite

It’s important to note that their symptoms can vary between types of JIA, and it’s possible for a child to develop more characteristic signs of one kind and then, over time, develop symptoms of another. 

For exceptional orthopaedic care, contact Orthopaedic Specialty Group!

It’s crucial to seek expert medical treatment if you struggle with problems or pain associated with your bones or joints. Give the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group a call at (203) 337-2600, and let us know how we can help you! Don’t let that pain hold you back from living your life. Your health and safety are our top priority.