Arthrogryposis describes a group of congenital disorders that cause joint and muscle deformities. Babies with arthrogryposis are born with contracted, stiff joints and underdeveloped muscles. Although arthrogryposis does not worsen over time, it can cause further joint deformities if untreated.
Several conditions involving lack of movement during fetal development may cause arthrogryposis, including:
Inherited genetic mutations can cause some types of arthrogryposis, as can certain maternal problems during pregnancy:
Arthrogryposis may develop in different parts of the body. The two most common types occur in the limbs:
Many symptoms of arthrogryposis are apparent at or before birth. Signs vary depending on the type of arthrogryposis and include:
The pediatrician will discuss your family’s medical history and may request some tests, including:
Your physician can also detect joint problems and diagnose arthrogryposis before your baby is born through prenatal ultrasound of your uterus (womb).
At Children’s National, we focus on helping your child develop flexibility and strength. Among the treatments we recommend are:
Learn more about our Spine Program and Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Children’s National.
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