Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, or AMC for short, is a collective term for multiple congenital joint contractures that lead to varying degrees of limitation to the extremities and spine. Over the course of growth, they lead to a variety of deformities and functional limitations of movement.
Although the disease is not curable, it is not progressive. However, due to growth, there may be an increase in malpositions and therefore mobility restrictions.
AMC occurs in about one of 3,000–5,000 births. The causes are early childhood developmental disorders in the womb. The impaired muscle development hinders the functionally appropriate shaping of the joints. The disease may be inherited, but is largely spontaneous.
The symptoms of AMC are inconsistent and often complex. The extent of possible contractures and misalignments is enormous. In most cases, both arms and legs are affected, some of which have severely stiffened joints. In a small proportion of patients, only the arms are affected, while others only have stiffened leg joints.
Stiffening also occur at the wrists and ankles, as well as at the finger joints, which sometimes lead to significant restrictions in movement. The AMC noticeably often features a pronounced bending contracture in the wrists and finger joints, as well as the thumb. Scoliosis may occur in the torso area.
It is also possible that AMC may cause malformations of the organs and nervous system, possibly causing paralysis.
Constant loads on a misaligned arm, knee or foot cause long-term damage, such as premature joint wear and pain. Therefore, any misalignments should be counteracted as early as possible. In addition to surgical interventions, many misalignments can also be corrected with orthoses. Joint mobility can often be improved through targeted therapeutic early mobilization and accompanying dynamic orthotic care. The time of the start of treatment is decisive for the success of conservative therapy. Therapeutic measures should already be taken during the first few months of life.
In babies, orthotic care should begin around the age of three or four months. Radiological findings and close cooperation with the attending physicians and therapists are essential for optimal orthotic care of individual misalignments.
Due to the complex manner in which AMC manifests itself, an individual design plan is first created for each patient for the orthosis to be manufactured.
AMC often entails stiff wrists and finger joints. This is also typical for the thumb In addition, stiffening on the ankles and leg joints as well as in the hips can restrict movement. These malpositions can be corrected with orthoses.
Our aids are individual components of the medical and therapeutic treatment concept. Amazing results for AMC patients can be achieved in combination with physiotherapy and rehabilitation aids.
The Orthopedic Children’s Clinic in Aschau is one of the largest specialist clinics for pediatric orthopedics in Central Europe.
When it comes to orthopedic treatment for infants and children, it is extremely important for all parties to pull together: parents, doctors, technicians and therapists.
Physiotherapists accompany the individual treatment of our AMC patients at our headquarters and several POHLIG branches.
AMC: this is essentially what Celine has been suffering from since birth. Despite this congenital joint stiffness, the student wants to try out everything she feels like doing. She is currently applying for an apprenticeship as an industrial management assistant. She spends her free time with her best friend Marla. Chilling by the lake, eating ice cream... everything people do when they have a little spare time. Her disability doesn’t actually have much effect on this...
What a great team! Robin (8) has AMC, leaving his movement severely restricted. For more than a year, he has been training with the Labrador retriever Chester, who reliably helps Robin get on with everyday life better.