At Central Jersey Ankle & Foot Care Specialists we treat patients of all ages. July is the month that we recognize arthritis in children. As in the case of adults, arthritis for children 16 and under is an umbrella term that describes many inflammatory, rheumatic and autoimmune diseases, including idiopathic arthritis (of unknown origin), psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia. Currently, nearly 300,000 children in the United States are affected by some form of arthritis. Joint disease can cause serious pain and disability in young feet and ankles.
Recognizing the Signs
In the past, when children complained of pain in their joints it was labeled as “growing pains.” Today, we know that symptoms of joint pain, stiffness and swelling accompanied by fatigue or other signs of illness can be signs of an arthritic condition that requires immediate medical attention. Sometimes children, especially young ones are not able to articulate symptoms of foot or ankle discomfort. Look for the following possible indicators of a problem:
- Limping, walking in a funny way, such as on tiptoes
- Frequent trips and falls
- Not wanting to participate in active play and sports that your child normally enjoys
- Lagging behind friends or taking frequent rest breaks when playing
- Complaints that legs or feet feel tired or slow
If you see any of the above behaviors or notice any unusual joint pain or symptoms in your child, contact our Aberdeen office as soon as possible for an appointment by calling, 732-566-2841. Our podiatrists, Dr. Christopher J. Mullin and Dr. Jessica A. Addeo, will perform a thorough podiatric examination on your child and also get a complete medical history. The good news is that many forms of juvenile diabetes can be treated with medications that will prevent permanent joint damage and allow your child to live a full and active life. The best outcomes are in patients where the disease is diagnosed in its earliest stages.