The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital is a leader in the treatment of pediatric rheumatic conditions. We are one of just three sites in Illinois that specializes in pediatric rheumatology and our board-certified experts are uniquely qualified to provide individualized, comprehensive care for patients and their families. Using the latest tools available, we diagnose and treat juvenile arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles, bones and connective tissue, including:

  • Chronic joint pain and swelling, including juvenile arthritis and reactive arthritis
  • Periodic fevers
  • Lyme disease
  • Lupus and lupus-like rashes
  • Muscle weakness with rash or calcinosis (calcium deposits in the skin/muscle)
  • Scleroderma

In addition, Comer Children's has a dedicated musculoskeletal ultrasound clinic. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is a safe and effective tool that is used to complement the physical exam and aid in therapeutic intervention. It allows us to “see” inside the joint as well as the surrounding tissues, which can help with diagnosis of joint, ligament or tendon problems. In children, musculoskeletal ultrasound can help in the diagnosis and management of arthritis and related conditions. Ultrasound-guided joint injections have been shown to be more accurate than blind injections and are associated with less procedural pain.

Our approach to care is family-oriented, focusing on the needs of our young patients, as well as the concerns of family members and caregivers. At Comer Children's, our goal is to put children on the road to recovery as quickly as possible, so they can enjoy being kids again.

Physicians at Comer Children's Hospital specialize in the detection and treatment of rheumatic diseases in infants, children and teens. Rheumatic diseases, such as arthritis, are conditions that affect the joints, muscles, bones and connective tissue. Because these diseases often are complex and chronic, it's important for your child to see a specialist who has extensive training in managing the symptoms as well as the underlying causes. The conditions we treat include:

  • Behcet's disease 
  • Chronic joint pain and swelling, including juvenile arthritis and reactive arthritis 
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Inflammatory uveitis
  • Morphea 
  • Muscle weakness with rash or calcinosis (calcium deposits in the skin and muscle) and scleroderma including linear scleroderma
  • Periodic fevers
  • Sarcoid
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Takayasu's arteritis

  • Vasculitis

  • Wegener's granulomatosus

Depending on your child's symptoms, we may recommend: oral medications, joint injections, intravenous therapies, physical or occupational therapy and/or psychosocial support. We will work with you and your family to determine the best course of treatment.

Pediatric rheumatologists at Comer Children's are working to advance patient care through medical education and research. In addition to training clinicians, residents and medical students from across the country and around the world, we participate in collaborative research with other institutions through the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA). A group of more than 400 pediatric rheumatologists and researchers, CARRA focuses on developing new and better treatments for juvenile arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, juvenile dermatomyositis, vasculitis, scleroderma, chronic pain and other rheumatic diseases.

We understand that living with a chronic illness may cause stress for a patient and his or her family. Our pediatric rheumatologists aim to reduce this anxiety by providing accessible, approachable care for children and caregivers. In addition, we encourage family members and teachers to play an active role in the treatment process. We often help parents and schools create educational plans to ensure that each child receives appropriate support throughout the day. Our ultimate goal is to help patients experience the best quality of life.

When patients come to Comer Children's, they have access to a multidisciplinary team of specialists. Our rheumatologists collaborate with pediatric gastroenterologists, orthopaedic surgeons, dermatologists and neurologists and will facilitate appointments with other experts as needed. We also work closely with the adult rheumatology team to help older teenagers transition their care when they are ready.

Meet Our Pediatric Rheumatology Team