differential diagnosis

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differential diagnosis

Joint problems in children can be caused by various conditions

  • arthritis -  presence of signs of inflammation such as redness, swelling, heat, pain, loss of function
    • infective and reactive - Lyme disease, viral infection, mycoplasma infection
    • juvenile idiopathic arthritis
    • connective tissue disorders - SLE, dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis
    • systemic vasculitis - Kawasaki’s disease, polyarteritis nodosa, Henoch–Schönlein purpura (HSP)
    • other - haemophilia, immunodeficiency, sarcoidosis, inflammatory bowel disease

  • mechanical and degenerative causes
    • trauma - accidental and non-accidental
    • hypermobility
    • avascular necrosis including Perthes’ disease, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, Scheuermann’s disease
    • slipped upper femoral ephiphysis

  • non organic causes
    • idiopathic pain syndromes - diffuse or localised
    • benign nocturnal idiopathic limb pains (growing pains)
    • psychogenic causes

  • miscellaneous cause
    • osteomyelitis
    • tumours - malignant (leukemia, neuroblastoma)or benign (osteoid osteoma)
    • endocrine and metabolic abnormalities - rickets, diabetes, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
    • genetic disorders - skeletal dysplasia, collagen disorders (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome)


Last reviewed 01/2018