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Arthrogryposis refers to a joint that is in a fixed position. Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita is diagnosed when two or more joints in more than one limb are fixed from birth (Figure 151.1).

Figure 151.1. Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita.

A joint becomes fixed in a given position because of unevenly impaired motility. Unevenly impaired joint motility results from segmental muscle weakness or hypotonia, or from a sustained asymmetrical posture. Segmental muscle weakness or hypotonia is due to an imbalance between agonistic and antagonistic muscles acting upon a joint. Sustained asymmetrical posture results from movement constraints that occur as a result of reduced uterine volume or cutaneous bands that restrict movements.


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Hageman, 1983 Hall, 1985