Definition of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: A heritable disorder of connective tissue that is characterized by easy bruising, joint hypermobility (loose joints), skin laxity, and weakness of tissues. Abbreviated EDS. There are a number of different types of EDS, each of which has these characteristic features. The variations of EDS are treated according to their particular manifestations. Skin protection (against injury of trauma, sun, and so on) is critical. Wounds must be tended to with great care, and infections must be treated and prevented. Suturing can be difficult because the skin can be extremely fragile. Joint injury must be avoided, and bracing may sometimes be necessary to maintain joint stability. Exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the joints can help to minimize joint injury. Contact sports and activities involving joint impact should be avoided.

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