Pediatric Rheumatology

Arthritis, joint and muscle pain have no age-limit—and can keep toddlers and teenagers from living an active, happy life. If your child exhibits signs of chronic pain, get expert care at UNM Health, home to the only board-certified pediatric rheumatologist in New Mexico.

Expert and Accurate Diagnoses

Rheumatic diseases affect muscles, bones, joints and tendons. Symptoms range from joint pain, rashes, fever or fatigue. If you are not sure if your child needs a rheumatologist, call your UNM Health pediatrician and we can determine what care your child needs. Together, we will find the answers you need.

Conditions We Treat

  • Acute rheumatic fever
  • Behcet’s disease
  • Henoch-Schoenlein purpura
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis and polymyositis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Juvenile lupus
  • Juvenile scleroderma
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Periodic fever syndrome
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Systematic juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Uveitis
  • Viral arthritis

Treatments for Rheumatic Conditions

Untreated rheumatic diseases can affect a child's growth and development. Treatment focuses on helping your child achieve and maintain a normal level of activity for his or her age.

In addition to a pediatric rheumatologist, your child may work with professionals such as social workers, behavioral health care providers and physician specialists in allergy and immunology or other areas.

Services and treatments may include:

  • Assistive devices such as braces and splints
  • Immunotherapy
  • Low impact and joint-friendly exercise
  • Massage and acupuncture
  • Medication such as:
    • Pain relievers
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
    • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Psychosocial support

Pediatric Infusion Unit. If your child needs infusion (IV) therapy for more than an hour at a time, he or she will receive it in the family-friendly pediatric infusion unit at UNM Children's Hospital. Nurses trained in pediatric infusion therapy will provide specialized care, and child life specialists will help him or her feel comfortable. Children can watch TV, movies or play video games.

Here for the Long Term

Once your child has a diagnosis and treatment plan, we’ll continue to see him or her at the pediatric rheumatology clinic until they are 18 years old. It’s important to continue to monitoring rheumatology conditions for any for side effects. If they do occur, we’ll be able to adjust treatments for the best possible long-term outcome.