What is Arthrogryosis?
"Arthrogryposis" (arthrogryposis multiplex
congenita) is a term describing the presence of multiple joint contractures
at birth. A contracture is a limitation in the range of motion of a
In some cases, few joints may be affected and the range
of motion may be nearly normal. In the "classic" case of arthrogryposis,
hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, feet and knees are affected.
In the most severe cases, nearly every body joint may be involved including
the jaw and spine.
The joint contractures are frequently accompanied by
muscle weakness which further limits movement. The baby is unable to
move around in the womb freely and therefore the mother reports that
she felt little movement while pregnant.
Arthrogryposis occurs in approximately 1 in 17,000
births in Australia. In most cases, arthrogryposis is not a genetic
condition and does not occur more than once in a family. In about 30%
of the cases, a genetic cause can be identified. The risk of recurrence
for these cases varies with the type of genetic disorder.
*Information in this section is taken from a publication
of AVENUES, the arthrogryposis support group in U.S.A.