AMC

Arthrogryposis

(taken from Tracey)

(Laelia has Amyoplasia.)

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) means: Multiple Joint Contractures Present at Birth

A joint contracture is a joint that lacks normal range of motion, or in other words is still or curved.

Its an umbrella term, which means AMC can be part of many syndromes and other underlying conditions.

More than 3 joints have to be affected in two areas of the body to have a diagnosis of AMC.

It occures  once in every  3,000 live births.

All joints can be affected including the spine and jaw.

Joint contractures develop because the unborn baby fails to move properly. Movement is vital to proper joint developement.

Cognitive development (intelligence) is almost always normal.

There are approx. 400 types of Arthrogryposis.

About 1/3 of cases of AMC are Amyoplasia type which is non-genetic and sporadic in the population. There is no known cause for Amyoplasia.

Most Distal Arthrogryposis types and most syndromes (like Escobar, Sheldon-Hall) are genetic in origin.

20-30% of babies born with AMC will die in the newborn period because they have a lethal genetic type or due to severe central nervous dysfunction.

Some individuals do not have an identified type.

Common joint contractures include: clubbed feet or vertical talus, extended or flexed knees, dislocated and/or externally rotated hips, internally rotated shoulders, extended or flexed elbows, flexed wrists, adducted thumbs (stuck-in-palm) and fingers that are fisted or extended.

There is no cure for Arthrogryposis, just treatment to reduce the severity of the joint contractures and increase the function level of the individual.

Treatment often includes: Stretching the joints multiple times per day, serial casting, tendon releases and lengthenings, osteotomies, splinting and bracing, external fixators and  physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Despite the fact that  there is no cure, most kids with Arthrogryposis grow up to be independent and successful adults.

More research needs to be done in the cause of Amyoplasia, mapping the genes in genetic types and long-term outcome studies for common surgical procedures in this diagnosis.

To learn more about Arthrogryposis: www.amcsupport.org

One Response to “AMC”

  1. Robin Clark says:

    Thanks for a thorough and very understandable explanation.

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