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Clinical Services at Rush Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

What is the cause of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?
What are the clinical manifestations of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?
How is the diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome made?
What is the management for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?
What can a person with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?


What is the cause of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

EDS is an inherited genetic condition of connective tissue, which is the main component of skin, muscle and ligaments. The defective collagen production leads to articular (joint) hypermobility, skin extensibility and tissue fragility. There are six different types of EDS differentiated according to clinical manifestations.

What are the clinical manifestations of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

  • Joint hypermobility [Picture 1]
  • Frequent joint subluxations/dislocations [Picture 2]
  • Fragile, elastic skin [Picture 3]
  • Debilitating musculoskeletal pain
  • Mitral valve prolapse

How is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosed? 

Clinical and physical manifestations help to differentiate between the types of EDS, but often genetic testing is needed.

 How is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome managed? 

As this is an inherited condition, there is no cure. Management is aimed to improve pain and quality of life. A multidisciplinary approach is taken to include medical, rehabilitation and dermatologic care. In addition, surveillance screening is emphasized to screen for potential cardiac manifestations

What can a person with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome do to maintain a healthy lifestyle? 

  • Avoid injury by not participating in high-contact sports or high-impact activity
  • Maintain a balanced, healthy diet
  • Prevent falls by keeping doorways and walkways clear. Avoid loose rugs or multiple cords on the floor
  • Use assistive devices such as utensils with wide handles, jar openers, or long-handled brushes to avoid extra tension on the joints
  • Use mild soap and sunscreen to protect easily damaged skin


   

 





Contact Name
Rush Connective Tissue Disease Clinic
Contact Phone
(312) 563-2800
Contact E-mail
contact_rush@rush.edu



Location
Orthopedic Building
1611 W. Harrison St., Suite 510
Chicago, IL 60612



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