Arthrogryposis is a congenital disorder of the musculoskeletal system which involves contractures of almost all the joints of the body with immobile and stiff joints present immediately after the birth of the child. The child will also have muscle weakness as a result of this condition. Arthrogryposis is a symptom rather than a condition itself and an underlying cause of the condition need to be identified.
Amyoplasia is the most common form of Arthrogryposis in which the joints of the knees, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and hips are all affected, although in some cases virtually all the joints in the body, including the jaw and the spinal cord get affected due to Arthrogryposis.
Fetal akinesia is believed to be the most likely cause for the development of Arthrogryposis. In fetal akinesia, the normal movement of the joint during the development phase in utero ceases resulting in the development of extra tissue over the joints making the joints stiff and immobile after the birth of the child, which is characteristic of a child with Arthrogryposis.
This condition is inherited and follows an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance meaning that only a single copy of the defective gene from either parent is good enough for the development of Arthrogryposis.
Prognosis Of Arthrogryposis
The overall prognosis of children with Arthrogryposis depends on the severity of the condition, the underlying cause, and the response of the child to various treatment measures, especially therapy to mobilize the joints.
The prognosis with therapy for most children with arthrogryposis is quite good with complete return to normal activities after a stint with therapy and other mobilization techniques.
Physical therapy is of utmost importance when it comes to determining the prognosis of a child with Arthrogryposis. If the response of the child is good with physical therapy then significant improvement in mobility and function of the joint is quite possible.
Children with Arthrogryposis are of normal intelligence and with appropriate treatment can lead a normal and productive lifestyle despite dealing with a condition like Arthrogryposis.
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