University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Diagnosis and treatment

To fully confirm a diagnosis or recognise a flare of the disease many treatments may be used. These include:

Childrens rheumatology ultrasoundExamination

All joints are examined to observe for pain, swelling and change in movements. It's very important the team are made aware of any pain so we can treat the joints appropriately. Leg examinations require us to be able to view both knees so appropriate clothing is advised.

Ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan is a good way to look at joints and identify if there is active arthritis. This procedure is painless but requires soft jelly placed on affected joints and the room to be dark.

MRI scannerMRI scan

This scan looks at joints in more detail. It involves lying in a cylinder shaped device which can make children feel slightly uncomfortable due to the size, sound and shape of it.

Blood test

Sometimes we may need to take blood samples to help confirm or seek a diagnosis. The team are experts at taking blood from children and have many ideas to help relieve the discomfort. We have magic cream and cold spray which help to numb the area where the needle will go. Our team also have great distraction techniques and at the end children receive a well deserved lollypop.


Children can be referred to physiotherapists who will set a range of exercises to help the child.

Child having ophthalmology reviewEye screening

Depending on the diagnosis some patients will require eye screening, which is slightly different to standard eye test. This will be done at the hospital by our specialist ophthalmologist.