Rheumatology

Caring for children with rheumatic and inflammatory diseases, our physicians are skilled in diagnosis, treatment, long term monitoring of therapeutic effectiveness and coordination of care.

We have one of the largest populations with periodic fever syndromes in the country. Our team offers a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and collaborates closely with multiple practices, including NephrologyOrthopaedic Surgery, and Physical and Occupational Therapy.


Services Offered and Conditions Treated

Expertise

  • Periodic Fever Syndromes
  • Kawasaki Disease resistant to traditional therapy
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Other Services & Conditions

  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Spondyloarthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Post-infectious Arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • Kawasaki Disease
  • Juvenile Dermatomyositis/Polymyositis
  • Scleroderma
  • Chronic Systemic Vasculitides
  • Anti-phospholipid Antibody Syndrome
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Iritis-Uveitis
  • Raynaud’s Disease
  • Chronic limb pain and other pain syndromes
  • Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypermobility
  • Periodic Fever Syndromes including Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF)
  • Acute Rheumatic Fever
  • Wegener’s Granulomatosis
  • Lyme Arthritis
  • Takayasu’s Arthritis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease associated Arthritis
  • Reiter’s Syndrome
  • Behcet’s Sundrome
  • Calcinosis
  • Prolonged fever
  • Loss of function
  • Unexplained physical findings (rash, fever, fatigue)
  • Unexplained joint or muscle pain
  • Local or generalized pain or swelling
  • Abnormal laboratory findings

Physician Referral Guidelines

Pediatric Rheumatology Referral Guidelines

Multidisciplinary Services

 

Emily Nicks is Back in the Game

Emily NicksEmily Nicks sometimes felt sore after playing softball in her hometown of Lemoore, but shortly after finishing first grade, she began to suffer from unrelenting muscle pain. Even as weakness interrupted Emily’s active lifestyle, a rash had already appeared on her thighs. It spread and covered her face like a heart-shaped red stamp. By mid-July Emily was too weak to move. Her desperate parents, Ryan and Donnell Nicks, brought her to Valley Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Dowain Wright, the late medical director of pediatric immunology and pediatric rheumatology at Valley Children’s, discovered a rare and serious autoimmune disease of the muscles and skin, known as juvenile dermatomyositis. Unable to walk, stand or sit unsupported, Emily began receiving three days of IV infusions and one day of physical therapy per week, as well as daily oral medications. “I’ll never forget when Donnell called from rehab and says, ‘Emily rolled over today,’” said Ryan. “She went from her stomach to her back. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you lie there lifeless, it’s a big deal.”

Now in her seventh year of treatment, Emily visits Valley Children’s only one day per month and her medication is effectively controlling the disease. Dr. Wright’s success in forcing Emily’s rare childhood disease into remission required patience and tenacity, and his strategy led to a big win. “Emily played on the volleyball team this year!” exclaimed Donnell. Emily Nicks is back in the game.