Genetic complications are one of the leading causes of decreased quality of life in young children. For children who are born, and survive, with a genetic defect on chromosome 18, the complication is often referred to as Edwards’ syndrome. As a condition that affects the healthy formation of collagen, children with Edwards’ syndrome live with a variety of health complications, including complications with early child development in joints and mobility.
If you are the parent of a child who was born with Edwards’ syndrome, it is important to understand the vast array of complications your child may experience. Among these, a complication with loose joints and hyper mobility is quite common and is typically associated with Type III Edwards’ syndrome. For your child, a special team of orthopedic specialists, specializing in genetic disorders, will be important to long term health and growth development.
Aside from the pain associated with loose joints and Edwards’ syndrome, children born with this health complication often experience dislocations in the small joints. When learning how to write or perform simple tasks with their fingers, the dislocations may become quite severe and even lead to early osteoarthritis complications. While there is no test to confirm the loose joints and hyper mobility of Edwards’ syndrome, most pediatric specialists can confirm the presence of the condition as your child begins to try and perform independent physical movements during the first year of life.
A team of not only pediatric orthopedic specialists, but also a team of pediatric rehabilitation and physical therapists will be vital to the needs of your child. Because Edwards’ syndrome can lead to complications that may require surgical correction or surgical intervention of the joints, finding this team of professionals early in your child’s life will be vital to maintaining the health of the joints even when hyper mobility and loose joints are a complication.
Edwards’ syndrome is a challenge for many newborns to overcome. If your infant has survived through the few several weeks of life, you can expect there will be lifelong complications associated with this genetic disorder of chromosome 18. When preparing for these complications, be sure that you have a team of orthopedic doctors who can assist in managing your child’s joint pain, decrease the risk for joint dislocations, and work to prevent the long term development of osteoarthritis.
Sources: The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed., pp. 1256-1257.