Rheumatology and ArthritisWe treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases which may cause pain in muscles and joints, as well as other unexplained symptoms such as rash and fever. As the largest pediatric rheumatology practice in the New Jersey-New York region, we offer advanced diagnostic testing, an onsite laboratory, and innovative clinical trials and research — all to ensure the best outcomes for your child. A team approach includes physical and occupational therapists, pain management specialists, ophthalmologists, gastroenterologists, nephrologists, physiatrists, dermatologists, and other pediatric subspecialists to provide expert care.
Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases can affect a child’s intellectual, emotional and social development. Social workers and child life specialists support children and teens in achieving normal and healthy lives.
National Recognition & Access to Research
We are committed to improving the lives of children with rheumatic diseases through research. Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health provides one of the top-enrolling pediatric rheumatology research sites in the United States. We not only participate in research studies, but we are unique in that we also lead funded, multi-center, national research studies.
Our leadership and involvement in national and international research ensures access to state-of-the-art knowledge, diagnostics and treatments. We involve patients and their families in our research so they can provide their insights and recommendations.
Rheumatology Conditions We Treat
(In children and young adults up to the age of 22)
Amplified musculoskeletal pain (includes juvenile fibromyalgia)
Arthritis and undiagnosed joint pain (juvenile idiopathic arthritis or JIA: including systemic, polyarticular, oligoarticular, psoriatic, enthesitis related, and spondyloarthropathy, lyme arthritis, and reactive arthritis including strep related arthritis and rheumatic fever)
Autoinflammatory syndromes (includes periodic fever, chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis, Behcet disease)
Inflammatory or autoimmune brain diseases
Juvenile dermatomyositis and polymyositis
Lupus (includes systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus, neonatal lupus)
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
Other sclerosing, or hard skin conditions (includes eosinophilic fasciitis, stiff skin syndrome)
Post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or "long COVID" (multi-disciplinary clinic with other specialists to see pediatric patients with post-COVID sequelae)
Prolonged fever or fever of unknown origin
Recurrent or periodic fever syndromes (includes PFAPA, familial Mediterranean fever)
Scleroderma (includes localized scleroderma, morphea, linear scleroderma, systemic sclerosis)
Uveitis and iritis
Vasculitis (includes Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP), Kawasaki, ANCA associated)
When should my child see a pediatric rheumatologist?
If your child develops joint pain, swelling in one or more joints, or has joint stiffness in the morning after waking up, you should consult a pediatric rheumatologist. These are common signs that your child may have childhood onset arthritis or another rheumatic disease associated with arthritis.
Additional symptoms of rheumatic conditions include limited joint mobility (which could be painless), unexplained rash, weight loss, uveitis, cold sensitivity (tingling, numbness, pain in fingers/toes) prolonged fever, muscle weakness, a decrease in or limitation in playing and sports, asymmetric growth of the face or body, chronic pain and loss of function or skills.
Partnerships and Designations
Scleroderma Center of Excellence
We have been designated by the Scleroderma Foundation as a Scleroderma Center of Excellence since 2014 based upon expertise in the care of pediatric patients with scleroderma, as well as conducting scleroderma research and supporting educational activities.
We have led, co-led, and contributed to multi-center and international studies in both localized scleroderma and systemic sclerosis. We also hosted the first pediatric-only family meeting of the Scleroderma Foundation, Kids Get Scleroderma Too (KGS2) in 2016, and have been involved with the planning of subsequent KGS2 meetings.
Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Association (CARRA)
We are active members and leaders of CARRA, a pediatric rheumatology research network that spans over 140 sites and more than 600 members across the U.S. and Canada, and runs a Registry for patients with pediatric rheumatic diseases that has enrolled more than 12,000 patients. We lead and participate in multiple CARRA research studies in JIA, lupus, scleroderma, pain syndromes and autoinflammatory diseases.
Pediatric Rheumatology Care and Outcomes Improvement network (PR-COIN)
We are members of PR-COIN, a multicenter learning network of patients, parents, clinicians and researchers across the U.S. and Canada. Using quality improvement science methodology and tools, PR-COIN develops and delivers new and comprehensive care practices and measures impact. The Registry allows longitudinal follow-up of juvenile arthritis patients and serves as a resource to explore new treatment strategies.
Arthritis Foundation’s Partners 4 Patients
Our Division of Pediatric Rheumatology is among the select practices in the nation invited for membership in Partners 4 Patients (P4P) with Arthritis. The P4P are recognized as highly engaged with the Arthritis Foundation and for offering the best support for patients.
We provide expert speakers for events, connect patients to available resources, partner with the Arthritis Foundation to create networking and educational opportunities for patients and families, and participate in the annual Walk to Cure Arthritis.
Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center
30 Prospect Ave, 3rd Floor IMUS Pediatric Center, Hackensack, NJ 07601
K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center
19 Davis Avenue, 5th Floor, Neptune, NJ 07753
JFK University Medical Center
102 James Street, Suite 303 Edison
A team approach includes physical and occupational therapists, pain management specialists, ophthalmologists, gastroenterologists, nephrologists, and other pediatric subspecialists to provide expert care.