Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Specialists

The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group -  - Neurosurgery

The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group

Neurosurgery located in Silver Spring, MD

Super-flexible joints may be great to have if you love sports like gymnastics. But when your hypermobile joints come along with symptoms like muscle pain or excessive movement that affects your head, neck, and knees, you may have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The board-certified neurosurgeons at The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group in Silver Spring, Maryland, have extensive experience diagnosing and treating Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, an inherited condition that can lead to serious health complications. To schedule an appointment, call the office today.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Q & A

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)?

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or EDS includes a group of inherited disorders that cause defective collagen and weak connective tissues. There are currently 13 different subtypes of EDS based on their genetic variations, but they have overlapping symptoms:

  • Joint Hypermobility: When you have joint hypermobility, your joints move beyond their normal range of motion because the supporting ligaments are stretched or weak. In some cases, this may be harmless, but it also causes joint dislocations or subluxations. Joint hypermobility can put your health at risk when the excessive movement and dislocation occurs in the cervical vertebrae that support your head or in weight-bearing joints like your knees and hips.
  • Hyperelastic Skin: Without strong supporting connective tissues, your skin stretches more than normal. Your skin may also feel soft and velvety.
  • Fragile Skin: Your skin may not heal properly or as quickly as normal skin. You may also bruise more easily.
  • Vascular EDS: This type of EDS affects the connective tissues lining your blood vessels, causing dilated vessels and increasing the risk for ruptured arteries.

Does Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Cause Other Health Complications?

A range of health problems can arise due to weak ligaments and connective tissues, including:

  • Headaches
  • Type I Chiari malformation
  • Atlantoaxial instability (AAI)
  • Craniocervical instability
  • Tethered cord syndrome
  • Movement disorders
  • Segmental kyphosis and instability
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • Tarlov cyst syndrome

It’s also common to develop neuromuscular problems such as muscle pain, cramps, and weakness.

What Other Symptoms Might I Develop Due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

Depending on the type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome you have, you may experience:

  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Visual problems
  • Balance problems

If EDS affects your blood vessels, you have a higher risk of cardiovascular abnormalities and may experience symptoms such as chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath.

How is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Treated?

Your treatment for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome focuses on alleviating your symptoms with medication and exercise or physical therapy. It’s also important to keep your blood pressure within a normal range. You may need surgery to repair joints that are damaged by frequent dislocations.

When you have atlantoaxial instability or craniocervical instability — conditions in which the joints between your head and the top two cervical vertebrae are affected — your The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group provider may recommend surgery to realign the joint and fuse the bones. 

If you have loose joints or notice fragile skin, or need expert care for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, call The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group.