Current Gastroenterology Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 271-278

First online:

Exploring the Differential Diagnosis of Joint Complaints in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Jennifer DotsonAffiliated withDivision of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Email author 
  • , Wallace CrandallAffiliated withDivision of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • , Sharon Bout-TabakuAffiliated withDivision of Rheumatology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

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About one quarter of children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience an extraintestinal manifestation, with the most common being arthritis or arthralgia. Because of the frequency of these joint complaints and their effect on quality of life, it is important to consider all possible etiologies in order to promptly evaluate, diagnose, and possibly refer to other specialists. Pediatric gastroenterologist and IBD specialists are cognizant of the extraintestinal joint manifestations, but may be less familiar with rheumatic disease and the musculoskeletal examination. We explore the differential diagnosis of joint complaints in children, with a focus on IBD-related disease and rheumatic disease.


Pediatric Inflammatory bowel disease Arthritis Arthralgia Rheumatology Differential diagnosis Evaluation Joint Extraintestinal manifestations IBD arthropathy Musculoskeletal pain Orthopedic