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What is Arthritis

Arthritis is the general term for inflammation of a joint which is usually accompanied by swelling and discomfort of that joint. Arthritis is a sign, not a diagnosis. If your child has arthritis, the cause must be determined.

Septic Arthritis (bacterial infection of the joint) is one cause of arthritis that requires immediate treatment to avoid permanent damage to the joint; thus, a child with fever and a swollen joint needs prompt evaluation. Other causes of arthritis include Lyme disease, trauma, rheumatic fever, and various inflammatory illnesses.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a rheumatic disease of children that consists of a constellation of symptoms, including fever (duration weeks to months), rash, enlarged lymph nodes, joint pain, joint swelling, muscle aches, heart problems, and eye abnormalities. Children with JRA should be treated and followed by a pediatric rheumatologist.