Journalism recently sponsored a fundraiser for English teacher, Angela Crabtree, who was five months pregnant when she found out that her son, Elliott, had Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC). A general or descriptive term for the development of non progressive contractures affecting one or more areas of the body prior to birth. It is a condition in which a joint becomes permanently fixed in a bent or straightened position.
When congenital contractures occur only in one body area, it is not referred to as Arthrogryposis but rather an isolated congenital contracture. The most common congenital contracture is “Clubfoot”, which is what baby Elliott has been diagnosed with. The symptoms of AMC are present at birth however, specific symptoms and physical findings can differ greatly in the range and severity from one person to another. In most cases, affected infants have contractures of various of various joints.
The joints of the legs and arms are usually affected, but the legs are affected more often the arms. In addition, the jaws and back may also be affected in individuals with AMC. In most cases, AMC occurs sporadically. More than 400 different conditions can cause isolated or multiple contracture and the cases, genetics, specific symptoms, and severity of these disorders vary dramatically. Over 125 genes have been identified as responsible for different types of Arthrogryposis.