Arthrogryposis | Diagnosis & Treatments

How is arthrogryposis diagnosed?

Your child’s doctor can make a diagnosis after a thorough medical history and careful physical examination.

X-rays often confirm the diagnosis and are helpful when your child’s doctor is evaluating stiff or dislocated joints.

Additional tests, including blood tests, muscle biopsies, and other imaging studies, help doctors confirm the diagnosis.

What sort of treatment will my child receive?

Your child's doctor may prescribe physical and occupational therapy to increase your child's muscle strength and improve flexibility.

Splints can also increase your child's range of motion. A removable splint works so that the joints can be moved and muscles exercised periodically. In some cases, merely wearing a splint at night may be sufficient.

Surgical options for arthrogryposis

Your child's doctor may recommend surgery to improve how she can position and move her limbs.

These procedures may include muscle releases, tendon transfers, or bone fusions to improve flexibility and correct deformities.

What's my child's long-term outlook?

Your child will most likely have persistent muscular and/or joint limitations due to her underlying condition. Unlike many other conditions, arthrogryposis is non-progressive and does not worsen as your child ages.

With physical therapy and other treatments, your child will likely have substantial improvement in her function. Most children go on to lead productive, independent lives as adults.