Children's Hospital Colorado
Hand and Upper Extremity Program


Kids aren’t just mini adults. In fact, they’re incredibly different. That’s why they need incredibly different care.

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What is arthrogryposis?

Arthrogryposis is a rare condition that involves stiff or contracted joints. The condition is also called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC).

  • The name arthrogryposis means curving or hooking of joints.
  • Multiplex means there are at least two joint contractures.
  • Congenital means the condition is present at birth.

A joint contracture occurs when muscles, tendons or other tissues get short and stiff, preventing the joints from moving normally. Joint contracture is most common in the arms and legs, but it can happen in other joints too. It can affect a few joints or many; the more joints affected, the more severe the condition.

What causes arthrogryposis?

The cause of arthrogryposis is not known, but there are a few potential causes including:

  • A baby not being able to move fully while in the mother's uterus
  • A viral infection while the baby was growing in the mother's uterus
  • The central nervous system and/or muscular system not developing normally while the baby was growing in the mother's uterus

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Get to know our pediatric experts.

Sarah Sibbel, MD

Sarah Sibbel, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery, Hand Surgery

Frank Scott, MD

Frank Scott, MD

Hand Surgery

Cailin Brazeau, PA-C

Cailin Brazeau, PA-C

Physician Assistant