Is this really Reactive Athritis, I am not convinced?

clairebl22 Member Posts: 5
edited 26. Apr 2012, 19:57 in My child has arthritis
Hi All,

have been looking for ages about this subject but couldn't find much until now! My son is now 5years old. When he was 2 1/2 years old, we were camping in France when he couldn't walk for 10 days every morning. He got better through the day after pain medication but was unable to weight bare every morning. As I was in a foreign country I decided to seek help when we got home. The day before we returned he got better but I took him to the Drs anyway but as he was no longer in pain the Dr checked his hips but just said he seems ok now so dont worry. He had a couple more short episodes, usually two days at a time but each time by the time I got an appt to see a Dr the pain was gone. Finally christmas eve 2010 he woke up unable to weightbare so I took him to A&E. They xrayed and did blood teast and said it was Reactive Artritis, take pain killers. Since then he has had flareups every couple of months, however since Christmas he has been in nearly daily pain, have been to Dr but told that this is normal for Reactive Artritis-but its been going on for nearly 3 years!!!! I am fed up of seeing him in pain, and fed up of giving Ibuprofen when I am not sure it is correct, all the information I have managed to read is saying that Reactive Arthritis only lasts 6months to a year? Could this be anything else, I feel like I am wasting the Drs time as I just keep getting told to give ibuprofen.

Any adivce greatfully recieved as I cannot see my little man in pain everyday!!

Many thanks, Claire and Charlie xx


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Claire. I’m not a parent (well, not of a child with arthritis) just an ordinary forum member. I knew very little about Reactive Arthritis but I’ve just checked AC’s leaflet on it and it does seem unusual for it to keep coming back for so long. I suggest you ring the Helplines and talk to someone there. If I were in your shoes and little Charlie hasn’t ever been referred to a rheumatologist I’d be pushing for that now. Please let us know how you get on. I do hope you can get something sorted out for him.
  • suzygirl
    suzygirl Member Posts: 2,005
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would be asking for a rheumy referral also, even if it reactive arthritis, it needs properly treating. I do believe it can turn into inflammatory arthritis for some people.

    It seems such a shame for him to be in pain and suffering, it will impact on his sports and fitness etc, if it carries on.

    I hope you get on ok.
  • andylamb
    andylamb Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'd definitely be asking your GP for a referral to the nearest paeds rheumatologist. In my opinion (I am not a doctor), there's no way reactive arthritis should go on that long.

    Good luck,
  • clairebl22
    clairebl22 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all your advice, I spoke to a very helpful lady on the helpline for this site and have made a Drs appt with a different Dr next week,

    many thanks xx Claire and Charlie
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm so glad you've taken action, Claire. I hope little Charlie gets some decent treatment now. Please let us know how you get on.
  • Steph1
    Steph1 Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My son had Reactive arthritis 6 years ago when he was 10 following tonsilitis -it was extreme - wheel chair bound for a time and unable to do anything himself, including feeding. it took 3 and half years to clear. Every time he had a cold or anything minor he had a flare up - they just got less severe as time went on. Doctors said that it could take up to 3 years so hang on in there - it will get better.
    He has just had a repeat after a throat infection - all the symptoms were there but blood tests showed he had no inflamation. It definately was not as bad this time and I have him on ibuprofen which is keeping the joint swelling down - all other symptoms have gone so I am hoping it will just disappear again soon.
  • Annah
    Annah Member Posts: 92
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This might not be relevant to your child's situation, but my condition (seronegative arthritis with joint hypermobility syndrome) was initially misdiagnosed as reactive arthritis.

    The treatment relieved the seronegative arthritis, which was mainly affecting my hands, but did diddly-squat for the rest of it. I gather that only time will tell with some conditions - if they don't start getting better, then the doctors have another think - but still, I'd trust your instincts as a mother and get a second (or third) opinion. Even if all they do is monitor the situation at least that will give them more information if it does turn out to be a more longterm sort of thing.