Barbara Bush Children's Hospital

Pediatric Rheumatology

Through our affiliation with Rheumatology Associates, MaineHealth offers expert rheumatology care for children from the only fellowship-trained pediatric rheumatologist in Maine. Research shows that children with rheumatic disease have better outcomes when treated by a rheumatologist with this advanced pediatric subspecialty training.

Expert pediatric autoimmune care in Southern Maine

Rheumatic disease includes conditions such as arthritis that cause pain, stiffness and swelling in joints or other supportive body structures such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. 

If your child complains of pain in the joints, muscles or bones, or has other symptoms of arthritis or an autoimmune disorder, a pediatric rheumatologist is uniquely qualified to provide the most thorough and advanced diagnosis and treatment for these often complex and sometimes rare conditions.

We offer one-stop access to the full range of pediatric subspecialty expertise that is often required in treating systemic rheumatic disease. Patients and families benefit from carefully coordinated, multidisciplinary care in one convenient Southern Maine location.

Conditions, diagnosis & treatment

Diagnosing pediatric arthritis and other rheumatic diseases can be challenging because symptoms are similar among the different diseases. In addition to conducting a comprehensive medical history and careful physical examination for each young patient, we provide access to state-of-the-art laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging resources. The imaging techniques may be used to provide a clearer picture of what is happening to your child’s joints.

The treatment of pediatric rheumatic disease primarily involves medical management, which can include joint injections with sedation and intravenous (IV) therapies, and careful, long-term monitoring. Medications are chosen based on the most effective therapy with the fewest side effects. We also incorporate other therapeutic options, tailored to each child’s unique needs, to aid in the healing process. These may include:

  • Physical therapy to improve and maintain muscle and joint function
  • Occupational therapy to improve the ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Integrative medicine that offers the most proven-effective, alternative therapeutic resources which can be tailored to the unique needs of each young patient and take into account the whole person – body, mind and spirit
  • Psychosocial support