Toddler with Swollen Knee. Is It Jra?

Updated on October 17, 2011
R.A. asks from Arnold, MD
8 answers

My 2year old daughter woke up thursday with a swollen knee and refused to tand or walk. She also had a fever. We took her to the ped. And then were sent for an x-ray of her knee. The x-ray showed a lot of fluid inthe knee. We were then sent to the ER. She was tested for a variety of things, Lyme,RA. Her white blod cell count was high. The Orthopedist aspirated her knee and said that based on the color of the fluid, it was infected and would need to be surgically drained. We were then transferred to Johns Hopkins ER. After another round of tests and fluid aspiration, it was determined that based on the white blood cell count of the fluid, she had septic arthritis(bacterial infection) in her knee.

They performed surgery to drain her knee and put her on antibiotics. We assumed it was a bacterial infection, but it turns out that all of the cultures have been negative for bacteria. I'm worried now that it could be JRA. Does anyone have any knowlege about this?

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Went for the post-op today. It was a Staph infection in her Femur bone. The doctor said it is not the kind of staph that can kill and we should be able to get rid of it with the antibiotics. She will be on the medication for 6 weeks. Thankfully, she started walking again today and her old personality is back!

Thanks for all of your responses;)

More Answers



answers from Tyler on

My son has JRA and I don't think this sounds like it. JRA is not fluid in the knee, it's where the immune system attacks the joints. His joints will get inflamed but not with fluid. He also never got a fever with his symptoms. How we found out is that he started limping and after many x-rays and a bone scan and no one could find anything, we were sent to a bigger hospital. The doctor there had us do an MRI and said there was so much inflammation around his ankle that he couldn't bend it, causing the limping. Blood tests can show whether she has arthritis or not, and I'm assuming they probably have already done those. Hope this helps and that you find out what is wrong! My son was diagnosed right before he turned 2, and we've had a few years to adapt, but with meds he can do everything the other kids can! Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have no knowledge of JRA. A friend of mine's husband has RA and he's in pain frequently.

I have had my right knee drained twice and I can tell you that I wouldn't wish that on was NOT fun. I hope your daughter was sedated for it.

You are in GREAT hands at Johns Hopkins!!! I'm 45 miles away. Let me know if you need anything!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

That sounds very much like what happened to one of my daughter's classmates. After three weeks of everything finally an orthopedic surgeon nailed it with staph infection. She is perfectly fine now, some three years later, but could have lost her leg or worse died of it.

I hope you figure it out soon. I had no idea staph could manifest itself like that but apparently it can attack anything.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Wow, your daughter has gone through a lot and so have you.

My daughter woke up one day when she was 2 3/4 and could not walk. Her knee was hot to touch and swollen. The blood test showed Lymes disease. In the mean time, I gave her Motrin and within 2 days she could walk without pain. She was then placed on antibiotics for 28 days to treat the Lyme.

I will say a prayer for your daughter. I hope it is not JRA.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The only knowledge I have is that my brother had it as a child. I do remember it being a long time before doctor's could properly diagnose, and there were several surgeries involved. However, by the time he was in middle school he was symptom free, playing in various sports, and was healthy enough to play football in high school.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Oh my, I have no idea. All I know, is that I am so happy you were proactive and didn't just let her limp around for a few weeks unchecked like a few moms I know. I hope they figure it out soon and that she is doing well :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

This exact same thing happened to my friend's daughter, and I'm sorry to say that it did end up being JRA. (It was kind of a weird situation, and it turns out they shouldn't have surgically drained her knee. I don't know all the details.)

The good news, however, is that it seems that she's grown out of it. I think she was diagnosed when she was 2 1/2, and she just turned 5.

Good luck. I hope it isn't JRA and that it's something easily cleared up.



answers from Louisville on

I am sure this isn't what is wrong with your child, but when I heard of this, the teenager had syphilis in her knee. She got it from a boy she had sex with and it showed up with her knee swollen. Johns Hopkins surely will do all the tests they are supposed to do.

I hope she is okay soon.

Next question: My 3 Year Old Is Limping