At HUS, we treat patients with juvenile arthritis. Every year in Finland, some 150 to 200 children present with juvenile arthritis. About half of them are treated at the New Children’s Hospital.
The symptoms, severity and duration of juvenile arthritis vary widely between patients. The most common form of juvenile arthritis is oligoarthritis, which only affects a few joints. Children who present with juvenile arthritis are usually toddlers, typically girls under the age of 3 years. The majority of juvenile arthritis patients are girls.
In treating juvenile arthritis, our goal is to quell the infection, to safeguard normal growth and development, and to prevent permanent damage. With effective medication, particularly new biological drugs, we can make most patients symptom-free. In addition to medication, we treat the arthritis with cortisone shots directly to the joints in the operating room under a brief period of anesthetic.
Our goal is to ensure that the patients can lead a normal life without being hindered by their condition in any significant way. In children, rheumatic inflammation may even go dormant before adulthood, for a long time and possibly for good.
About one in five juvenile arthritis patients may develop asymptomatic iritis (inflammation of the iris in the eye) during the first few years, and because of this the patients regularly see an ophthalmologist.
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