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Rheumatology

Arthritis knows no age

You’d be mistaken if you think arthritis is something only old people get. Children get it too, and it’s referred to as juvenile arthritis. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis—idiopathic means “from unknown causes”—is the most common.

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Allie is an outgoing, energetic teen.

All are rheumatic diseases, and the study of arthritis is called rheumatology.

Pediatric rheumatologists at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital care for children and adolescents who have rheumatic diseases. The list of these diseases includes various forms of arthritis such as:
• Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA/JRA)
• Lyme arthritis
• Spondyloarthropathy syndromes
• Viral arthritis.

Our rheumatologists also treat various multisystem rheumatic diseases including:
• Behcet’s disease
• Dermatomyositis
• Lupus
• Mixed connective tissue disease
• Scleroderma

At University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, pediatric rheumatologists collaborate with other pediatric medical specialists—including ophthalmologists, dermatologists and orthopaedists—to offer a range of treatments made especially for your child. Ask your doctor to refer your child to us for an appointment, or call to make your own at 612-365-6777.
Many kinds of rheumatic disease

We provide specialty care including*:

• Infection-related arthritis (Lyme, post-infectious and viral)
• Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
– Enthesitis-related
– Oligoarticular
– Polyarticular
– Psoriatic
– Systemic
• Other rheumatic diseases
– Behcet’s disease
– Cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes
– Dermatomyositis
– Mixed connective-tissue disease
– Periodic fever syndromes
– Relapsing polychondritis
– Scleroderma
– Sjogren’s syndrome
– Systemic lupus erythematosus
– Systemic vasculitis
• Other spondyloarthropathy (enthesitis-arthritis) syndromes
– Ankylosing spondylitis
– Arthritis of inflammatory bowel disease
– Reactive arthritis
 
Additional programs and services

• Full range of traditional oral and intravenous anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive therapies (including intravenous immunoglobulins, steroids, methotrexate and cyclophosphamide)
• Innovative subcutaneous and intravenous biologic response modifiers such as:
– Abatacept [Orencia]
– Adalimumab [Humira]
– Anakinra [Kineret]
– Etanercept [Enbrel]
– Infliximab [Remicade]
– Rituximab [Rituxan]
– Tocilizumab [Actemra]
• Intra-articular steroid injections
(joint injections)
• Occupational therapy
• Orthotics
• Physical therapy

*For definitions of medical terms, visit our health library or MedicinePlus

Meet your care team

Pediatric Rheumatology

Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.

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Minneapolis

Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.

Allie's Story

Life doesn’t slow down too much for Allie these days. An outgoing, energetic teen, Allie spends her busy days active with her school and is member of the dance team and girls hockey team. Allie enjoys playing golf and soccer and plays the piano and the clarinet as well.

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Allie with Richard Vehe, MD

As a 6-year-old, Allie was trying on her grandmother’s rings and her family noticed that her ring finger was so swollen that she could not make a fist. After weeks of therapy and visiting numerous doctors, tests revealed that Allie had arthritis in her finger and in her wrist.

Allie was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that can cause symptoms including stiffness in the morning or after other periods of rest; swelling, painful or limited movement, decreased strength and unusual warmth of joints.

After a year of treatment and little improvement, Allie's doctor told her family about a study at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital by Richard K. Vehe, MD, pediatric rheumatologist. This nationwide study, conducted by Vehe and members of the national Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group, evaluated the effectiveness and safety of the drug adalimumab, a therapy used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults.

“After reviewing all of the study information with Dr. Vehe, we moved forward with participating in the study. It was the smartest thing we did for our daughter’s health,” says Leslie, Allie’s mother.

Led by this study’s findings of effectiveness, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the therapy for use in children.

“Allie went from being a bit sluggish to being a very active kid again. She regained movement in her wrist and her other joints seemed to react positively to the new medication,” says Leslie. “Allie still has her days when she doesn’t feel well and is slowed down by her arthritis. However, due to our quick movement to using the medication, I believe we have eliminated any more joint damage.”

“Our experience in working with Dr. Vehe and his staff has been superior and they have always made time to consult with us whenever we have had questions,” says Leslie. “Dr. Vehe has a real flair with kids and a true compassion, empathy and desire to help kids with their arthritis.”
 
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