A framework for the classification of joint hypermobility and related conditions

Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2017 Mar;175(1):148-157. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.31539. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


In the last decade, growing attention has been placed on joint hypermobility and related disorders. The new nosology for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), the best-known and probably the most common of the disorders featuring joint hypermobility, identifies more than 20 different types of EDS, and highlights the need for a single set of criteria to substitute the previous ones for the overlapping EDS hypermobility type and joint hypermobility syndrome. Joint hypermobility is a feature commonly encountered in many other disorders, both genetic and acquired, and this finding is attracting the attention of an increasing number of medical and non-medical disciplines. In this paper, the terminology of joint hypermobility and related disorders is summarized. Different types of joint hypermobility, its secondary musculoskeletal manifestations and a simplified categorization of genetic syndromes featuring joint hypermobility are presented. The concept of a spectrum of pathogenetically related manifestations of joint hypermobility intersecting the categories of pleiotropic syndromes with joint hypermobility is introduced. A group of hypermobility spectrum disorders is proposed as diagnostic labels for patients with symptomatic joint hypermobility but not corresponding to any other syndromes with joint hypermobility. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; classification; joint hypermobility; nosology; terminology.

MeSH terms

  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / classification*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic