Reactive arthritis in children: causes, symptoms and treatment

What you need to know about reactive arthritis in children

Inflammation of the joint is considered reactive if it appears not alone, but because any infection of the body, triggered by germs or viruses.

Infectious disease is contagious, the kid can pick up the pathogen airborne contact method.

A major role in the occurrence of violations has decreased immunity associated with the deviation. At-risk children with the presence of the gene HLA-B27, i.e., this disorder is hereditary.

Violation of dangerous complications concerning joints (loss of motility), heart damage. The manifestation of this inflammation is easily confused with the beginning of severe systemic disease and Vice versa.

The causes and characteristics of diseases in children

Reactive lesion occurs due to bacterial infections. Often, its cause is urogenital or gastrointestinal infection.

So, in some patients a few weeks after the food poisoning may occur inflammation of the joints (enterogastric).

The human immune system may recognize him alien organisms according to the structure of protein molecules characteristic of a particular type of microbes. But some pathogens molecular structure of proteins very similar to the structure of protein cells that make up ligaments and joints.

Basically, a jet violation develops due to low specificity of the reaction of the immune system. Often this condition is observed after stress.

Reactive arthritis in children basically has the following reasons:

  • dysbiosis;
  • sexual infections;
  • inflammation of the urinary organs;
  • viral hepatitis;
  • different viral infection;
  • chronic disease of the respiratory tract.

In children, the violation is of an infectious character.

Signs and symptoms

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In explaining the history it turns out that for 10-20 days, until the inflammation of the joints the kid had an illness of the respiratory system, the urinary system or intestinal infection.

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The disease damages many joints, the standard one or two. Often affects joints of the feet. Finger much swollen and has a bluish color. The beginning of the process is acute with fever, weakness, refusal of games.

Also pathology in children has the following additional symptoms:

  1. Pain in the joint. The child is limping in violation of the joints of the feet, maintains healthy pen — with the defeat of the joints of the hands.
  2. Redness of the skin near the joint, swelling and local temperature increase.
  3. Inflammation of the tendons. Especially often affects the calcaneal tuberosity, spinous processes of the spine of the Ilium. Possible pain in the spine.
  4. In some cases, sometimes rash, lesions oral mucosa, inflammation of the external genital organs, eyes, hearts.

The duration of illness varies. Some kids violation becomes chronic.

The inflammation often affects the knees, ankle, sacral-lumbar part and the metatarsophalangeal of the big toe.

Rarely the joints of the hands. The fingers swell and redden. The pain of damaged joints in children can be displayed by clicking on the joint itself and the area near it, especially at the attachment of tendons.

Reactive arthritis is characterized pain at the area of attachment of Achilles tendon to the heel bone. Often kids maintain a normal complain only of pain when pressed.

The arthritis in children is characterized by significant swelling. If arthritis is easy – the child may not feel sick.

Children who are prone to allergies, you can get sick it’s hard with fever and multiple joint damage, combined with severe pain and swelling. They have diarrhea and vomiting due to involvement in the process of the stomach and intestines.

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But if arthritis complicated by heart failure, which often happens in severe form may be life-threatening .

But so severe forms in children are rare.

Damage to the joints has an asymmetrical character.

Adolescents sometimes report limited mobility in the spine in the lumbar or cervical.

They have a disease could develop into juvenile spondyloarthritis that causes destruction of joints and fusion of the vertebrae. Such a disorder is seen in boys and has a hereditary conditionality.

The majority with proper treatment reactive arthritis in children able to eliminate it completely, but sometimes he still becomes chronic, disturbing the rest of his life.

Disability occurs rarely. Deaths of this kind of arthritis is today an isolated phenomenon.

Diagnosis of the disease

You can suggest reactive arthritis if the affected joints was preceded by infection, as well as by the characteristic clinical picture. Then you should take baby to the doctor, do not self-medicate, because an accurate diagnosis is made only after completing research.

All children with suspected this kind of arthritis should see a rheumatologist.

For diagnosis such activities are carried out:

  • history
  • visual inspection;
  • blood test;
  • rheumatology test;
  • smears from urethra, conjunctiva of the eye;
  • stool cultures for dispropo;
  • serology;
  • immunofermentnyi analysis;
  • analysis of synovial fluid;
  • detection of the antigen HLA-B27;
  • radiography of the joint;
  • Ultrasound of the joint
  • MRI;
  • arthroscopy.

The doctor should be contacted immediately, if a baby has redness, swelling, hot skin near a joint, joint pain; fever.

The purposes and methods of treatment

The main goal of treatment of reactive arthritis in children– elimination of infection. For this prescribe antibiotics.

The choice of medication provides the doctor with some infection in the baby, susceptibility of the pathogen and the specificities of the child’s body.

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To help antimicrobial, to reduce inflammation, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and sometimes hormones – glucocorticoids. Of nonsteroid drugs used meloxicam, diclofenac.

Children hormones are injected into the joint with obvious aggravation.

In the long process used immunomodulators (polyoxidonium, taktivin). If the arthritis is increasing, a doctor prescribes a drug, depressing the immune system, – sulfasalazine.

When the subsidence of the acute inflammation necessary physical therapy electrophoresis with drugs, treatment with ultraviolet light, magnetic therapy, laser treatment, amplipuls. Physiotherapy aims to restore mobility of the joint.

Complications of the disease

Often patients recover.

Possible consequences:

  • relapsing course;
  • the chronic process;
  • violation of the mobility of joints and spinal column.


A special prevention of violations does not exist. The preventive measures include:

  • healthy lifestyle;
  • personal hygiene;
  • timely removal of foci of infection;
  • if the parents suffer from chlamydia, they need to be treated;
  • identification of carriers of the gene HLA-27 in parents when planning a pregnancy.

The main objective of preventive measures is to teach your kids to a healthy lifestyle. And stick them on a continuous basis. Because the benefits of prophylaxis can be only when your health is still in order.

Video: Reactive arthritis

The doctor talks about the problem of reactive arthritis — diseases of the joints, caused by infectious agents. Methods of treatment and prevention of disease.