Pediatric rheumatology is an underrepresented specialty in the US, with only about 300 available practitioners. In this interview, a pediatric rheumatologist from Stony Brook Children’s Hospital addresses some common questions about juvenile arthritis, and offers guidance for parents on what they can do if the condition presents in their child.
“Collectively, the term referring to arthritis in children is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)”, stated Julie Cherian, MD, Division Chief, Pediatric Rheumatology, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. “The most important thing about JIA is to diagnose and treat it early. Left unchecked, it can cause serious, irreversible side effects, including blindness, stunted growth and lifelong disabilities.” Dr. Chernan recommends being aware of possible symptoms including warm, swollen or tender joints, fatigue, weight loss, or loss of appetite, and complaints of morning stiffness. Read a news story discussing the recommendations for diagnosis and treatment here.