Rheumatology Book


Musculoskeletal Pain in Children Red Flags

Aka: Musculoskeletal Pain in Children Red Flags, Red Flags for Musculoskeletal Pain in Children
  1. See Also
    1. Musculoskeletal Pain in Children
  2. Symptoms: Red Flags Suggestive of serious condition
    1. Fever
    2. Malaise
    3. Rest pain better with activity
    4. Morning Joint Stiffness or pain
    5. Night pain refractory to Tylenol or Ibuprofen
  3. Signs: Red Flags Suggestive of serious condition
    1. Joint Swelling
    2. Bone tenderness to palpation
    3. Muscle Weakness
    4. Fall in height or weight growth curve
  4. Labs
    1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) abnormal
      1. Infection: Leukocytosis
      2. Malignancy
        1. Pancytopenia
        2. Thrombocytopenia with high sedimentation rate
    2. Sedimentation Rate increased
  5. Imaging: XRay
    1. Soft tissue swelling
    2. Bone changes
      1. Osteopenia or bony cortex destruction
      2. Periosteal elevation
      3. Soft-tissue swelling
  6. Causes: Serious Conditions with Musculoskeletal Pain
    1. See Musculoskeletal Pain in Children
    2. Rheumatologic Conditions
      1. Septic Arthritis
      2. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
      3. Spondyloarthropathy
      4. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
      5. Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
      6. Lyme Disease
    3. Malignancy
      1. Acute lumphoblastic Leukemia
      2. Osteosarcoma
      3. Ewing's Sarcoma
      4. Rhabdomyosarcoma
  7. Referral Indications (Suspected Rheumatic Condition)
    1. Persistent functional loss
      1. Unable to attend school, activities due to condition
      2. Motor skill regression
    2. Discrepant symptoms, signs and labs
      1. Persistent localized pain, swelling with normal labs
      2. Abnormal exam findings with normal labs
      3. Abnormal labs do not match symptoms and signs
    3. Unexplained persistent symptoms and signs
      1. Musculoskeletal pain or swelling
      2. Weakness or Fatigue
      3. Anorexia and weight loss
      4. Anemia
      5. Fever
      6. Rash
  8. References
    1. Malleson (2001) CMAJ 165:183-8 [PubMed]

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