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Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)

Can Surgery Help Patients With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

While surgery is not usually needed in JRA, some children with persisting pauciarticular JRA, despite medical treatment, may benefit from surgical procedures. Joint replacement (often of the hips, in patients with polyarticular JRA) is usually deferred when possible until bone growth has completed. At one time, part of the synovium was removed (synovectomy) in very severe cases to prevent joint damage. With improvements in medical treatment, this procedure is now rarely necessary.

What Other Therapies May Help Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

A variety of complementary approaches can be very effective in relieving pain. These include acupuncture and massage. These complementary medicine treatments are not necessary but may help your child feel more comfortable.

Do Patients With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Need Follow-up?

Whenever possible, children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis should receive their care from a multidisciplinary center that specializes in pediatric rheumatologic care. However, such centers are not common and are mostly confined to large medical centers.

Children with JIA must be evaluated regularly by the provider supervising care of their disease. This provider will give referrals to appropriate specialists, who will evaluate the child for development of preventable and/or treatable complications. Care will continue throughout childhood and adolescence. Children who go on to develop adult-type RA require medical care for their entire lives.

Is It Possible to Prevent Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

We do not know how to prevent JIA. Following recommended treatment is the best way to prevent worsening of the disease. If left untreated, JIA will continue to worsen and eventually can lead to joint damage and disability, and possibly other serious complications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2016

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