When you think of rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes stiffness, inflammation of the joints, and pain, do you automatically think of older people? Did you know it can affect people at any age, even juveniles? Today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing what you need to know about this condition, including the symptoms, to protect your children.
Estimates show that approximately 300,000 children in the country have juvenile arthritis. When the joints of the ankles and feet are affected, it can make walking, running, standing, and other activities painful. Medically managing this disease is typically required to help children live normal, healthy lives.
The form of arthritis that children experience is not the same as grandpa’s aches and pains. They suffer from several autoimmune forms of arthritis. Their bodies’ immune system attacks their joints, causing stiffness, swelling, and, in some cases, permanent damage.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
RA is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the membranes enclosing the joints. Swelling of the lining and the eventual destruction of the joint’s bone and cartilage occur, causing severe pain and immobility.
Although RA typically attacks multiple joints and bones throughout the body, nearly 90 percent of cases result in pain in the ankle or foot area.
Symptoms of RA include:
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain and swelling in the feet
- Joint shift and deformation
- Pain on the sole or ball of the feet.
Because RA affects more than just your joints, you must seek an early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel your foot pain might be caused by RA. A podiatrist can prescribe orthotics, offer pain management options, and find ways to improve your child’s mobility and quality of life. If your child is living with rheumatoid arthritis, you must take them for professional treatment and care.
Contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. He can diagnose your child’s condition and provide you with the best treatment options. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.