Arthrogryposis is a term used to describe a number of rare conditions characterized by stiff joints and abnormally developed muscles. It’s also referred to as arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, or amyloplasia.

Arthrogryposis is not thought to be a genetic or hereditary condition. The exact cause of arthrogryposis is unknown, but a number of different theories have been proposed:

  • Some believe that arthrogryposis is caused by obstructions to intrauterine movement during pregnancy.
  • Others believe that it may be a result of an early viral infection during a baby’s development.
  • Others believe that arthrogryposis is the result of failure of the central nervous system and/or muscular system to develop appropriately.

Arthrogryposis at Boston Children's HospitalBoston Children’s Hospital approach to arthrogryposis

You can have peace of mind knowing that the skilled experts in our Orthopedic Center's Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program have treated thousands of babies and children with many hand conditions.  We provide expert diagnosis, treatment and care, and we benefit from our advanced clinical and scientific research.

Your child will undergo a course of occupational therapy, which will help improve her flexibility and strength in the joints and muscles. Specialists in the Occupational Therapy Program at Boston Children’s will collaborate with you and your child’s doctor to provide the best possible care for your child.

Treatment programs for arthrogryposis are based on thorough evaluations and are always individualized to meet the needs of your child.