Joint hypermobility in children: a neglected sign needing more attention

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Joint hypermobility refers to the ability that a joint has to move beyond its normal range of motion. It is common in the general population, particularly in children. While many individuals manifesting joint hypermobility are healthy, this feature can accompany a wide range of symptoms and systemic disorders, whose management can be influenced by their prompt recognition. Given the increasing attention that joint hypermobility is attracting in various fields of medicine, many practitioners are asked to approach more carefully joint hypermobility, in order to avoid over- and under-diagnosis of related disorders. Among the most common conditions featuring joint hypermobility there are hypermobility spectrum disorders and hereditary connective tissue disorders, in particular, the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. In children, joint hypermobility also accompany a variety of disorders affecting neurodevelopment. The nature of such an association is protean, as joint hypermobility may occur in selected congenital neuromuscular disorders, monogenic multiple malformation/intellectual disability syndromes, and well-known and emerging genomic syndromes. In addition, joint hypermobility seems strongly associated with developmental coordination disorders. This review offers an overview on definitions, assessment procedures, patterns of associated manifestations and disorders related to joint hypermobility, as well as treatment principles of associated musculoskeletal pain for practitioners that are not familial with this issue but encounter people featuring this physical attribute in their daily activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalMinerva Pediatrica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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