"Arthrogryposis (or arthrogryphosis) multiplex congenita" is a term used to designate contractures of the joints. The term "arthrogryposis" is a combination of two Greek words, meaning literally a crooked or bent joint. Various writers have described this condition under different names, such as "multiple congenital contractures of joints," "amyoplasia congenita," "myodystrophia congenita" and "myodystrophia foetalis deformans."
In 1841 A. G. Otto described a case of congenital myodystrophy and in 1905 E. Rosenkranz collected 56 cases which were similar in nature and labeled them arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. Stern1 in 1923 and Lewin2 in 1925 used this term in reporting their cases. W. Sheldon3 in 1932 preferred the name "amyoplasia congenita," believing that the initial lesion is primary aplasia or hypoplasia of certain muscle groups, the defects of the joints being secondary. He confirmed his ideas by investigating the electrical reactions of the affected muscles; these showed no reaction