Hypermobile joints - Overview
Joint hypermobility; Loose joints; Hypermobility syndrome
Definition of Hypermobile joints:
Hypermobile joints are joints that move beyond the normal range with little effort. Joints most commonly affected are the elbows, wrists, fingers, and knees.
Children are often more flexible than adults, but those with hypermobile joints can flex and extend their joints beyond what is considered normal. The movement is done without too much force and without discomfort.
Thick bands of tissue called ligaments help hold joints together and keep them from moving too much or too far. In children with hypermobility syndrome, those ligaments are loose or weak. This may lead to:
- Arthritis, which may develop over time
- Dislocated joints, which is a separation of two bones where they meet at a joint
- Sprains and strains
Children with hypermobile joints also often have flat feet.
Hypermobile joints often occur in otherwise healthy and normal children. This is called benign hypermobility syndrome.
Rare medical conditions associated with hypermobile joints include:
- Reviewed last on: 11/12/2010
- Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Krakow D. Heritable diseases of connective tissue. In: Firestein Gs, Budd RC, Harris ED Jr., et al, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 96.
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