Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)

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Symptoms and Signs of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a complex condition that affects many parts of the body. Signs and symptoms, and their severity, vary widely even for those in the same family. This is due to the fact that Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a connective-tissue disorder, and connective tissue is present throughout the entire body. EDS may manifest simply as extra-flexibility in one person, while in another it may cause damage to the nervous system and result in debilitating pain.

Symptoms and signs of types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome include, but are not limited to:

  • Abnormal wound healing
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain and degenerative disc disease
  • Cardiovascular abnormalities
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Congenital clubfoot
  • Cervicocranial instability
  • Delayed motor development
  • Double-jointedness
  • Easy scarring and poor wound healing
  • Fragile arteries, prone to rupture
  • Frequent injuries (related to unstable joints)
  • Increased joint mobility, joints popping
  • Joint dislocation
  • Joint hypermobility that leads to frequent dislocations and partial dislocations
  • Joint pain (“arthralgia”)
  • Migraines
  • Muscle pain (“myalgia”)
  • Musculoskeletal pain that is chronic and debilitating
  • Neurologic deficits (“myelopathy”)
  • Numbness
  • Osteopenia (low bone density)
  • Pins-and-needles feeling
  • Premature rupture of membranes during pregnancy
  • Problems with internal organs, such as mitral-valve prolapse or organ prolapse, restriction of lungs
  • Progressive kyphoscoliosis (kyphosis and scoliosis), present at birth or within the first year of life
  • Severe low/poor muscle tone (hypotonia) at birth
  • Spondylosis (degeneration in spine)
  • Unusual skin: very soft and velvety; fragile, bruises easily; stretchy (“hyperelastic”)
  • Vision problems: sclera (the white of the eye) fragility, unusually small corneas

Reviewed by Jeffrey Greenfield, MD, PhD
Last reviewed/last updated: April 2019