How does pediatric type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) affect joint mobility?

Updated: Jul 03, 2019
  • Author: William H Lamb, MD, MBBS, FRCP(Edin), FRCP, FRCPCH; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Answer

Limited joint mobility (primarily affecting the hands and feet) is believed to be associated with poor diabetic control. [22]

Originally described in approximately 30% of patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, limited joint mobility occurs in 50% of patients older than age 10 years who have had diabetes for longer than 5 years. The condition restricts joint extension, making it difficult to press the hands flat against each other. The skin of patients with severe joint involvement has a thickened and waxy appearance.

Limited joint mobility is associated with increased risks for diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. Improved diabetes control over the past several years appears to have reduced the frequency of these additional complications by a factor of approximately 4. Patients have also markedly fewer severe joint mobility limitations.


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