Saturday, March 31, 2012

What is Arthrogryposis?

"Arthrogryposis" (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita) is a term describing the presence of multiple joint contractures at birth. A contracture is a limitation in the range of motion of a joint.
In some cases, few joints maybe affected and the range of motion may be nearly normal. In the "classic" case of Arthrogryposis, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, feet, and knees are affected. In the most severe cases, nearly every body joint may be involved, including the jaw and back. Frequently, the joint contractures are accompanied by muscle weakness which further limits movement. So the child's joints have limited movement and if they aren't given PT at a young age or  worked on (moved) then they freeze in place.. Which limits how they move.
Arthrogryposis is relatively rare, occurring in perhaps one in 3,000 births. 

What is the treatment?

For most types of Arthrogryposis, physical and occupational therapy has proven very beneficial in improving muscle strength and function and increasing the range of motion of affected joints. Parents are encouraged to become active participants in a therapy program and to continue therapy at home on a daily basis.
Splints can be made to augment the stretching exercises to increase range of motion. Casting is often used to improve foot position. However, emphasis should be placed on achieving as much joint mobility as possible. Some type of removable splint (perhaps a bi- valve cast) maybe used on knees and feet so that the joints can be moved and muscles exercised periodically. In some cases, merely wearing a splint at night may be sufficient.
Surgery should be viewed as a supportive measure to other forms of treatment when they have achieved their maximum result. Surgeries are commonly performed on ankles to put feet in position for weight-bearing and walking. Less frequently, surgery is required on knees, hips, elbows and wrists to achieve better position or greater range of motion. In some cases, tendon transfers have been done to improve muscle function.
What is the outlook?
There is a wide variation in the degree to which muscles and joints are affected in those with Arthrogryposis. In some cases, Arthrogryposis may be accompanied by other conditions, such as central nervous system disorders, which complicate the picture. However, in most cases, the outlook for those with Arthrogryposis is a positive one. Unlike many other conditions, Arthrogryposis is non-progressive. That is, it does not worsen with age. Furthermore, with physical therapy and other available treatments, substantial improvement in function is normally possible. Most people with Arthrogryposis are of normal intelligence and are able to lead productive, independent lives as adults. 

So why am I telling you this? Well because there is a child Laurel who is about to turn 15 in Eastern Europe. She has Arthrogryposis. Yet she smiles everyday and remains happy. When she turns 15 she becomes un-adoptable. She will be stuck in a country that won't accommodate her. She will go live in an Insane Asylum. With adults who have lived their whole lives there. That is her fate unless someone out there feels the call to be her family. Or maybe you can donate to her fund here. Look  at her face again. Be her family. Pray for her.

Many people have adopted children with this condition. Over at Micah six eight they are having a large giveaway for several children and Laurel. Let God use you to affect these children. Go here run don't walk and tell your friends about it.

Oh and if you are worried about the costs for her medical care....Shiner's treats these kids for FREE. including plane tickets to and from the hospital. So what excuse do you have now?

1 comment:

  1. I have AMC.
    I live in Canada.
    I work full time.
    I have my own house.
    Can she come and live here?