What is Pediatric Rheumatology?
Pediatric rheumatology involves the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases and conditions in children and teens, including:
- chronic arthritis (e.g. juvenile idiopathic arthritis)
- systemic lupus erythematosus
- rheumatic fever
- juvenile dermatomyositis
Rheumatic diseases and conditions most often affect the joints and muscles and patients are most often referred because of joint pain or swelling or muscle weakness. However, some rheumatic diseases are “multi-system” – that is, they affect other areas of the body. Pediatric rheumatologists may also be asked to see children with chronic and unexplained problems such as prolonged or recurrent fevers, anemia, rashes or fatigue.
Our division sees patients from a wide geographic area including Edmonton and surrounding communities, across northern and central Alberta, northeastern B.C. and the Northwest Territories.
Once a diagnosis of a rheumatic disease is made, pediatric rheumatologists work as part of a team that includes specialized nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, as well as social workers, dietitians, psychologists and others to provide comprehensive care to children affected with these diseases. In addition, pediatric rheumatologists work closely with other pediatric specialists, including nephrologists, neurologists, sports medicine physicians, ophthalmologists and orthopedic surgeons to care for children with complex problems.