Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is a [relatively] rare genetic connective tissue disorder in which defective collagen is produced, resulting in loose joints, dislocations, fragile skin, and vascular fragility. Individuals diagnosed with EDS are diagnosed with a specific type, each with distinct symptoms and diagnostic criteria. Some types can present serious, life-threatening complications; all can be life-altering.
- Hypermobility (type III) – extreme hypermobility, chronic pain, early onset osteoperosis are hallmarks of this type
- Classic (previously types I & II) – hypermobile joints, serious skin involvement: highly extensible skin, fragile, prone to scarring
- Vascular (previously type IV) – blood vessels and organs are prone to spontaneous rupture, which is life-threatening. Thin, translucent skin on chest and abdomen. Typically, hypermobility is limited to the fingers, but not always.
- Kyphoscoliosis (previously type VI) – characterized by progressive scoliosis (curvature of the spine), fragile eyes, poor muscle tone (hypotonia)
- Arthrochalasis (previously type VII A & B) – congenital hip dislocations, severe hypermobility
- Dermotospraxis (previously type VII C) – extremely loose and fragile skin
The hypermobility, classic and vascular types are the most common, while the Kyphoscoliosis, Arthrochalasis, and Dermotopraxis types are quite rare.
(The current descriptive method of labeling, which replaced the numeric classification in 1997, could be changed in the near future. While each type does have distinct characteristics, it is common for individuals to have cross-over symptoms and thus not fit perfectly into one category or another. )
There is no cure, but each symptom and complication can and should be treated.
Good sources of information: