Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita is a clinical description of a large group of disorders in which there is progressive restriction of movement due to contractures of the soft tissues around a joint. Arthrogryposis means a curved joint. The features are present at birth, non-progressive, associated with muscle wasting and affect at least two areas of the body. It is considered to be a failure of differentiation in the IFSSH/Swanson scheme for congenital anomalies of the upper limb.
Neuropathic and myopathic causes have been described, but the underlying pathogenesis is thought to be one of a lack of fetal movement as opposed to a malformation of part of a limb.
Last reviewed 07/2021