Physician: Arthrogryposis

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
You may use the stars on the left to rate and leave feedback for the current article. No registration is required. Waiting for 5 votes 0.0 of 5 stars (0 votes) — Thanks for your vote

Please fill out the following optional information before submitting your rating:

What challenges can be expected when arthrogryposis is indicated on the adoptive child's medical record?

Arthrogryposis refers to a symptom complex characterized by multiple joint contractures present at birth. This is a description of what we see when the child is born. It is usually caused by decreased fetal movement of whatever etiology.

This is merely a description of a symptom however because there are approximately 150 different syndromes occurring with multiple congenital contractures that are characterized as arthrogryposis.

The major syndrome (amyoplasia) accounts for approximately 50% of children who have multiple congenital contractures. The cause of this syndrome is unknown but it can affect all of the muscles in the body and can even lead to respiratory failure.

The classic presentation of arthrogryposis is contractures of all four extremities but it is possible to carry this diagnosis and have only contractures of one extremity but this is rare.

X-rays need to be taken to rule out underlying spinal deformities and hip dysplasia

To understand how difficult and complex the diagnosis can be, imagine that the syndrome can start anywhere from the brain to spinal cord to peripheral nerves to the muscles. Therefore they need a thorough evaluation. . Laboratories might be able to rule out congenital muscular dystrophies and chromosome abnormalities these can be done at birth to help elucidate the etiology.

Every child with these syndromes should have a complete musculoskeletal evaluation and genetics evaluation.

Most of the children who have this diagnosis at birth survive to adulthood and need different medical interventions depending on their diagnosis.

Surgery is needed usually in all of these children and extensive splinting and physical therapy to help improve and get some function.

These children can be very intelligent (as long as the arthrogryposis is not secondary to a syndrome) so that they can make significant adaptations to their disability and lead productive lives.

by James Reilly, M.D.

Submit Your Question


The information and advice provided is intended to be general information, NOT as advice on how to deal with a particular child's situation and or problem. If your child has a specific problem you need to ask your pediatrician about it - only after a careful history and physical exam can a medical diagnosis and/or treatment plan be made. This Web site does not constitute a physician-patient relationship.

This material has been provided by, an innovative adoption medicine private practice and educational service, dedicated to helping parents and adoption agencies with the complex pre-adoption medical issues of internationally adopted children. All medical interactions are performed via, e-mail, express mail, telephone, and fax. There is no need to make a live appointment or travel outside of your hometown. For more information, visit or call 631-499-4114.

Related Topics
Visitor Comments (0) - Be the first to comment
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.

To see local International Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):

Need a Home Study?
Adoption Photolisting
Davien (TX / 15 / M)
Davien is an active youth whot loves football, especially the Texas A&M Aggies. He is a sweet child who warms up to others as he gets to know them. His favorite color is... [more]
Directory of Adoption Professionals
Find a professional
for all of your adoption needs including:

Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of

Settings Help Feedback
Template Settings
Width: 1024     1280
Choose a Location:
Choose a Theme: