Children with a connective tissue disorder will usually display warning signs before any serious problems begin to arise. Recognizing these warning signs early provides the best opportunity to positively influence the course of patients’ lives. You are in the best position to enable an EDS child’s full and happy life. The clues and complications listed here can help guide you in deciding whether a diagnosis of EDS may be worth pursuing further, and help those who have been diagnosed to stay as healthy as possible.
• Possibility of aortic root dilatation, mitral valve prolapse, other valvular abnormalities, enlarged right coronary artery.
• Postural orthostatic tachycardia, leading to chronic fatigue, is especially found in young persons with EDS.
• Some doctors have seen onset of lipid abnormalities in EDS youth; in any case, attention to heart health should begin early.
• Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and/or diarrhea, reflux, food allergies, gastroparesis.
Rheumatology & Orthopedic:
• Joint hypermobility can be assessed using the Beighton scale; however, joint hypermobility also depends on age, gender, family and ethnic background.
• Excessive flattening of feet when weight bearing, pronated or everted feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions.
• Joint dislocations & subluxations apparently unrelated to specific injury.
• Chronic unexplained joint pain, commonly out of proportion to physical and radiological findings.
• Scoliosis, kyphosis and leg length discrepancy, knee/hip alignment issues.
• Premature onset of degenerative disc disease and herniated discs in the spine.
Social & Developmental:
• Depression and withdrawal from social activities due to chronic pain.
• Physical awkwardness and clumsiness.
Dermatology & Sports Medicine:
• Easy bruising, enlarged scars, stretch marks, poor wound healing.
• Frequent injuries.
• Joints may be stabilized by adequate muscular control and appropriate physical therapy.
• Long-term damage resulting from hypermobile joint “party tricks”, rotational stress, contact sports.
• High palate and teeth crowding (prior to orthodontic corrections).
• TMJ pain.
• Early onset gingival recession and gum problems.
• Cavities, dental discoloration and dental pits.
• Cranio-cervical instability, cervical disc disease, Chiari I malformation.
• Tethered Cord Syndrome.
• Migraine headaches.
[From "EDS in Practice": Pediatric Checklist, Adult Checklist and overview of EDS at http://ednf.org/eds-practice
or in PDF at http://issuu.com/markmartino8/docs/edsinpractice_final2011s