The pediatric rheumatologists of Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University Medical Center, offer complete services for evaluating and treating childhood arthritis and related diseases. This category of diseases, called rheumatic disease, takes many forms and may affect children during infancy, early childhood or the teenage years.

Expert Evaluation and Treatment

Prompt evaluation and treatment by physicians who specialize in arthritis and rheumatic disease in children is very important as soon as symptoms appear. Overall, arthritis in children can be far more serious than it is in adults, affecting many systems in the child's body. Also, because rheumatic diseases affect the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles when children are growing and developing, they can lead to serious deformities.

Meeting Children's Special Needs

Children with rheumatic disease require treatments and therapies that are different than those which might be appropriate for an adult. Our pediatric rheumatologists are skilled in managing all types of childhood arthritis and are the only such specialists in Indiana. Our pediatric team also includes physical and occupational therapists, social workers and clinical nurse practitioners, and we work closely with community services and school system services around the state. Together we provide expert, hands-on care to help each child reach the highest possible level of functioning.

Training Other Health Care Professionals

Rheumatic diseases are autoimmune disorders, in which the body's immune system malfunctions and reacts against the child's own organs and tissues. The symptoms or rheumatic disease such as fevers, rashes, joint swelling and muscle fatigue, are often mistaken for other infectious diseases. Our pediatric rheumatologists assist and train primary care physicians and health professionals throughout Indiana in identifying these symptoms so that ill children can receive appropriate care promptly.