Pediatric Rheumatology

When children feel pain in their muscles, joints, bones, or tendons, it may mean that they have a rheumatic disease. These conditions, such as arthritis, lupus, or vasculitis, are often caused by a disorder of the immune system. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks healthy cells and causes inflammation. Sometimes rheumatic diseases include fever or rashes, or affect internal organs.

Rebecca Trachtman, MD, leads the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. Our team is committed to you and your child, and will work closely with you and your family to pinpoint the cause of your child’s condition and ensure the best possible outcome. We understand that children have special needs, and we are experts in providing compassionate, understanding care.

Rheumatic diseases affect children and adolescents physically, emotionally, and socially. We believe in a holistic approach that treats the child, not just the disease. Sometimes children are not able to express clearly what they are feeling, and it requires experience and a sympathetic manner to get clarity about their symptoms. We also engage physical therapists, social workers, or psychologists when appropriate. If your child is missing school or needs special accommodation, our team will write letters or advocate for them with the school. We combine this personalized approach with state-of-the-art diagnostics, technology, and treatments.

There are a variety of treatments available for autoimmune diseases, and we are continually doing research to find more effective ways to treat children. Dr. Trachtman has been recognized for her research, including the 2018 Charles L. Christian Award for excellence in musculoskeletal research at the Hospital for Special Surgery/Weill Cornell Medicine. She is especially interested in researching and establishing meaningful measures of patient improvement defined by quality of life, rather than just clinical assessments. Her areas of clinical focus include juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, and periodic fever syndromes.

Some of the most common treatments for rheumatic diseases include:

  • Steroids
  • Autoimmune suppressors
  • Physical therapy

Our holistic approach to therapy is often successful in addressing the effects of the disease. However, it is important that the family plays a part in the child or adolescent’s therapy. That’s why we also provide support and education for parents and caregivers to give each child the best chance for a full return to health.

The entire Mount Sinai Health System is on your team. This gives you ready access to top physicians in many areas outside of rheumatology. If needed, we can bring in experts from the Children’s Heart Center, as well as our pediatric kidney, infectious diseases, pulmonary, gastroenterology, and hepatology teams.

Why Choose Us

U.S. News and World Report consistently selects Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. For the pediatric rheumatology team, that means bringing experience, compassion, and the most advanced science to each patient we see. You’ll have access to nationally recognized clinical experts engaged in groundbreaking research. But more important is our mission to provide the best possible experience for children, adolescents, and their families. That means partnering with patients and families to ensure the best outcome. We foster a collaborative culture for healing, and are constantly applying new knowledge and improving the way we deliver care.