Rheumatology

The Rheumatology department provides patient-centred care looking after children and adolescents with a wide variety of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system (muscles and joints) as well as conditions of non-infectious multi-system inflammation.

Phone: (03) 8572 3000
Email: paediatric.rheumatology@monashhealth.org

To support the Rheumatology department at
Monash Children’s Hospital:

About us

The Department of Rheumatology provides care for children and young people with a wide variety of inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions of the musculoskeletal system (muscles and joints) as well as conditions of auto-immune multi-system inflammation.

Our expert multidisciplinary team also conduct assessments of musculoskeletal conditions that are NOT likely to require orthopaedic surgery.

Unit Head, Associate Professor Sue Piper leads an experienced team of paediatric rheumatologists, junior doctors training to be paediatricians, a paediatric rheumatology nurse educator specialist and specialised Allied Health practitioners including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry staff.

We treat children with problems that arise from before birth, children and young people up until the 19th birthday. Efficient and effective patient-centred care is our mandate. We aim to improve quality of life, pain management, disease management as well as patient and family knowledge about the disease, medication and treatment.

Rheumatology-team
Expertise and services

Conditions we treat 

Our unit specialises in diagnosing and treating many conditions. These include but are not limited to:

  • Inflammatory Juvenile Arthritis and systemic inflammatory diseases
    • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
    • Other forms of inflammatory arthritis
  • Autoimmune connective tissue diseases and Vasculitis
    • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
    • Raynaud’s phenomenon, perniosis, acrocyanosis
    • Juvenile Dermatomyositis or Polymyositis
    • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
    • Localised Scleroderma/Morphoea
    • Sjogren’s syndrome
    • All forms of vasculitis including Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (previously known as Wegener’s granulomatosis), Takayasu arteritis
  • Non-inflammatory bone and joint diseases
    • Apophysitis (Osgood-Schlatter syndrome, Sever syndrome)
    • Benign nocturnal limb pain
    • Back pain
    • Hypermobility syndromes including Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Marfan Syndrome, Stickler syndrome
  • Periodic fever syndromes and auto inflammatory diseases
    • Non-infectious osteomyelitis including Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO)
    • PFAPA Syndrome (Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Adenitis Syndrome)
    • Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
    • Other possible inherited periodic fever syndromes/conditions
    • Behcet’s disease
  • Musculoskeletal pain syndromes
    • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
    • Fibromyalgia (FMS)/ Pain amplification syndrome

Research
Research is essential to enhance clinical practice and the Rheumatology Department is active in contributing to local, national and international research projects.

Teaching
We are committed to enhancing the understanding of rheumatic diseases and conditions for Monash University medical students, junior doctors training to be paediatricians, as well as other hospital staff and GPs.

Information for patients and families

Useful web links

www.arthritisaustralia.com.au
www.bspar.org.uk
www.move.org.au
www.printo.it
www.reachout.com
www.rheumatology.org.au
www.rch.org.au/rheumatology

Contacts

Patients and families may contact the department via:

Phone: (03) 8572 3000
Nurse: (03) 8572 3802 (please leave a message and you will be contacted ASAP)
Same Day Unit: (03) 8572 3700 (for information regarding booked and confirmed joint injections)
Email: paediatric.rheumatology@monashhealth.org.au

Clinics

Rheumatology Specialist Consulting Services 

Paediatric/Adolescent Rheumatology Clinic

A Paediatric/Adolescent Rheumatology Clinic, staffed by three Paediatric Rheumatologists, the Paediatric Rheumatology Nurse Educator, physiotherapist and Junior Medical Staff, operates every Monday between 8am and 11am in the Outpatients area of Monash Children’s Hospital.

Paediatric and adolescent patients (new patients up to 18 and still at school) with juvenile arthritis, autoimmune connective tissue diseases, back pain, hypermobility, pain syndromes and other problems with bone, joint or muscle pain will be assessed and offered ongoing management where appropriate.

All clinics are held at Monash Children’s Hospital and there are no out of pocket expenses.

General Paediatric Rheumatology Clinic

A Paediatric Rheumatology Clinic is also held on alternative Friday afternoons, from 11am-2pm, in the Specialist Consulting Clinics at Monash Children’s Hospital. There are no out of pocket expenses.

Patients will generally be allocated to continue care in one clinic but may transfer if needed.

A Vasculitis/Autoimmune Connective Tissue Diseases Clinic

A Vasculitis/Autoimmune Connective Tissue Diseases Clinic operates on alternate Fridays from 1.30-2.30pm. The clinic runs jointly with the consultant Nephrologist (kidney specialist) There are no out of pocket expenses for this clinic.

Joint Injection Session

On alternate Friday mornings, patients who require intra-articular steroid injections are admitted to the Same Day Unit for this procedure. Some younger patients may require a general anaesthetic for this procedure and other paediatric patients use a combination of local anaesthetic and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Our specialist physiotherapists and occupational therapists are also available for consultation and advice as required.

Drug Infusions

Those patients requiring regular drug infusions will be admitted to the Same Day Unit.

Transitioning

Patients are transitioned to care with an adult rheumatologist when they are ready. For most, this will be after completion of year 12 but some may be earlier, such as those starting an apprenticeship, or later for those with intellectual impairments. Since this is a time of many changes for most young people, we can be flexible with timing to ensure optimal outcomes.

Patients are offered several options but transfer to the Rheumatology Service at Monash Medical Centre results in the smoothest path with ready cooperation between treating teams.

Referrals

Referrals

To refer a patient please contact the Monash Children’s Hospital Specialist Consulting team:

Phone: (03) 8572 3004
Fax: (03) 8572 3007
Email: scmonashchildrens@monashhealth.org

For URGENT matters the Paediatric (Renal) Rheumatology Advanced Training Registrar or Resident can be paged by calling the Monash Health Switchboard on (03) 9594 6666 and asking for pager 4287 (Registrar) or 242 (Resident).

If a doctor wishes to contact the team please advise the Monash Health switchboard that you are a doctor and you will be connected through. Consultant staff are available on call.

Eligibility criteria

Less than 18 years of age and still at school

GP Investigations to be performed

As indicated by presentation.

Cost

Nil to clients eligible for Medicare.

Note: Patients ineligible for Medicare will be charged a fee for all services provided

Where

Specialist Consulting Clinics
Monash Children’s Hospital, Clayton

When

Monday, 8-11am
Friday, 11am-2pm
Combined clinic with Nephrology – alternate Fridays, 1.30–2.30pm

Staff

  • Associate Professor Sue Piper (Head of Unit)
  • Dr Peter Gowdie
  • Leanne Czerniecki – Clinical Nurse Consultant

Referrals will be received from

  • GP’s
  • Any Monash Health doctor
  • Public/private consultants
  • Other emergency department medical officers

Start typing and press Enter to search