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What is the treatment of childhood arthritis?

Q: My 10-year-old sister is suffering from eye infection and swelling in her leg joint for the last 1.5 months. She has recently been diganosed with rheumatoid arthritis. What is the treatment and other measures required to ensure that the child has no complications?

A:This young child appears to have an eye inflammation and a lower joint involvement which go together in two clinical situations: first, reactive arthritis and secondly, an evolving juvenile spondyloarthropathy. The eye and joint conditions may be involved in parallel or may be separately involved. This child needs evaluation and investigations to study the sacroiliac joints in the back and also a genetic test called the HLA B 27 test that can be helpful to decide if the patient warrants long term treatment. The joint can be treated very well with an intra-articular steroid using Triamcinalone acetonide. The official web site of the rheumatology chapter of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics can be accessed at www.childhoodarthritis.com to lead you to a paediatric rheumatologist in India.

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