Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Ehlers Danlos syndromes, or EDS, are made up of several disorders that affect the body’s connective tissues, which support blood vessels, organs, bones, or skin. Ehlers Danlos syndrome has six classifications:
Diagnosis and Treatment of Ehlers Danlos
Hypermobility is a symptom of most forms of EDS, but is most severe in the hypermobile and classical types. Joint problems are common, along with the ability to pop joints in and out of place. Many EDS patients are flat footed and could become even more flat footed as they age. Osteoporosis can develop early and patients may feel pain from walking. Patients also typically appear clumsy due to neurological issues related to poor balance and lack of focus or clarity.
Patients with Ehlers Danlos syndrome bruise easily and often have very thin, translucent skin that is super soft and velvety. The skin is also extremely stretchy and fragile. The fragility of the skin can mean that wounds such as cuts or surgical incisions take much longer to heal than someone without EDS.
This can also complicate wounds that require stitches, as the skin is sometimes not strong enough to hold the stitches in place. Scars also look different than non-EDS scarring, and are often described as “cigarette paper” scars.
Ehlers Danlos syndrome is a genetic disorder, inherited from one or both parents. Genetic testing can diagnose EDS, but if the patients’ symptoms match those of EDS and are coupled with a family history of EDS, a diagnosis may be made without testing. Many people are misdiagnosed before being diagnosed correctly, with misdiagnoses ranging from lupus to “growing pains.”
Unfortunately, there is no cure for EDS, but there are ways to manage the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe pain killers when over-the-counter pain medications are not enough. Since blood vessels are affected by EDS, blood pressure is carefully monitored so that no unneeded pressure is put on the vessels.
For more information on Ehlers Danlos syndrome and treatment or to schedule a consultation with one of our pain management doctors, please call Chicagoland Pain Management Institute in Bolingbrook, IL at (630) 312-4505 or in Hinsdale, IL at (630) 856-6825 or use our convenient online appointment request form.
“I had suffered from chronic foot pain, undergone 10 foot surgeries, and taken pain medications on and off for 10 years before receiving the Axium™ Neurostimulator System. It has changed my life, I could not clean my house before without being in pain, and I was so uncomfortable that just having a blanket on my foot at night required a pain pill to sleep and now I can walk barefoot. I am not limping anymore, and I can wear shoes that I could not wear in the past. Even better, I am no longer taking pain medications for my foot. It’s amazing to have severe pain one moment and be nearly free of it the next.”
– Rosemarie W