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J Pediatr Orthop B. 1997 Jul;6(3):159-66.

Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita: etiology, genetics, classification, diagnostic approach, and general aspects.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Arthrogryposis is a sign associated with many specific conditions and syndromes. It is a term used to describe the presence of multiple joint contractures that are present at birth. It can be seen in isolation or in association with other congenital abnormalities as part of a syndrome with or without central nervous system involvement. The exact pathogenesis of arthrogryposis is unknown, but all involve fetal akinesia (decreased fetal movement) with subsequent joint contractures. In this article I describe the causes, genetic aspects, classification, and approach to diagnosis.

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