Children’s Rheumatic Diseases

Paediatric Rheumatology

At Tays, we examine and treat children and adolescents under the age of 16 who suffer from prolonged joint disorders, juvenile idiopathic arthritis or a connective tissue disease.

Children’s rheumatic diseases treated in specialised health care include:

  • systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis affecting only few, no more than four joints (oligoarthritis)
  • oligoarthritis extending to affect multiple joints
  • polyarticular arthritis (seronegative polyarthritis)
  • adult-onset rheumatoid arthritis (seropositive polyarthritis)
  • arthropathic psoriasis
  • entesoarthritis where the patient has inflammations at tendons and fascia in addition to arthritis

Other conditions treated in specialised health care include arthritic diseases that are included in inflammatory bowel diseases, reactive juvenile arthritis, juvenile sacroiliitis as well as autoimmune eye inflammation or iritis.

Examinations and treatment at Tays

Children under the age of 16 who suffer from juvenile idiopathic arthritis are primarily treated in the Tays Central Hospital. Additionally, there is a specialist familiar with juvenile idiopathic arthritis working at the Vammala Hospital so patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis can also be treated there.

Patients suffering from joint symptoms or juvenile idiopathic arthritis are rarely in need of treatment on the inpatient ward. The necessary examinations and treatment can be carried out at the outpatient clinic.

Patients come to the outpatient clinic for follow-up examinations every few months, sometimes only once a year, depending on the nature of the symptoms and the disease.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis can be treated with many antirheumatic medicines that are also used in the treatment of adult patients.

A number of professionals participate in the treatment

The treatment of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis is demanding and involves a number of professionals, such as physicians, nurses, a physiotherapist and, where necessary, an occupational therapist.

Patient suffering from juvenile idiopathic arthritis have an appointment with a psychologist at some point, and teenage patients will be receive vocational guidance from a rehabilitation instructor.

Special expertise at Tays

Minna Ståhl, Specialist in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, who is specialised the management of musculoskeletal pain in children, will participate in the treatment of children with joint and other chronic pain at Tays where necessary. In her doctoral dissertation, she studied neck pain in children.

Paediatric rheumatologist Kati Markula-Patjas defended her doctoral dissertation in 2015 on vertebral fractures in children suffering from juvenile idiopathic arthritis and has thus in-depth knowledge in osteoporosis in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Furthermore, in her doctoral dissertation, paediatric rheumatologist Merja Malin studied the immunology of the intestinal tract of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Our paediatric rheumatologists also work at the Rehabilitation Centre Apila in Kangasala that provides rehabilitation services for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and are thus also familiar with the rehabilitation of children with rheumatoid arthritis.

Persons in charge

Specialist Merja Malin
Specialist Kati Markula-Patjas