Juvenile arthritis and conditions in young people

 

People often associate arthritis with older people, but it can also affect children.

Most types of childhood arthritis are known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Children and young people with painful joints (with or without swelling) lasting more than six weeks should be referred for a specialist opinion. Early diagnosis and treatment is vitally important.

More on what we do

We have a specialist team who will work with you and your child to help deal with their symptoms. The treatment plan could involve a combination of medication and physiotherapy, as well as pain management advice.

Children with suspected JIA will be referred by their GP to the paediatric team at the RD&E. From here, they will see a paediatrician (doctors who care for babies, children and young people) with an interest in rheumatology conditions.

Paediatric rheumatologist, Professor Ramanan and his team travel from Bristol to Exeter to support this clinic.

Dr Earl, from the adult rheumatology team also helps support this clinic and provides a smooth transition of care into our young adult and adolescent clinic.

Once they are adults, patients with JIA will be managed in a rheumatology service - although their condition is still referred to as 'juvenile' arthritis throughout life.

Treatments

Treatments are generally similar to those used to treat inflammatory arthritis in adults and include corticosteroids, either by tablet or injection, disease-modifying drugs including methotrexate and, if needed stronger 'biologic' drugs.

All these treatments are designed to dampen an overactive immune system.

Paediatric clinics are supported by specialist physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Adult patients with JIA have access to our full multidisciplinary team.

Our team

Dr Earl helps support the paediatric service and young adult and adolescent clinic.

Where to find us

RD&E Wonford, Barrack Rd, Exeter EX2 5DW

Contact us

Your appointment letter will tell you where to attend.

Paediatric clinics run in the paediatric department. Young adult clinics usually run in the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre, RD&E Wonford, Barrack Rd, Exeter EX2 5DW

Clinics

Your appointment letter will tell you where to attend. Paediatric clinics run in the paediatric department.

Young adult clinics usually run in the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre.

Supporting you

Living with a chronic condition can be challenging both physically and emotionally. For young people over the age of 17, we link with Talking Health services at the RDE. They provide extra support with patients experiencing mental health difficulties. Find out more here

Information for healthcare professionals

Children and young people up to the age of 17 with suspected JIA should be referred by their GP to the paediatric team at the RDE. Young people aged 17 and older should be referred directly to the adult rheumatology team.

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