Hypermobility Syndrome, AKA Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type (EDS-HT), Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD)

January 05, 2016

Marfanoid Habitus: My long arms of law

You won't see it unless you look for it.
True for most of the subtle signs of hypermobility syndrome (EDS-HT).

An important sign is a mild expression of marfanoid body type, one of the features that EDS-HT shares with other hereditary diseases of connective tissue.

Read about the Marfanoid habitus in the context of EDS-HT here and here.

The term ‘marfanoid habitus’ is used to describe people with a very particular body shape – tall slender physique with long arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes. It is made up of certain carefully assessed anthropometric measures and medical observations. Not all the findings need to be present to use the term. This body shape is commonly found in Marfan Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
An Arm Span to Height ratio > 1.03
A Hand length to Height ratio > 11%
A Foot length to Height ratio > 15%
An Upper Body Segment to Lower Body Segment ratio < 0.89
(Lower body segment is the distance from the pubic symphysis to the floor. Upper body segment = Total height – lower body segment)

My long arms have actually been very useful to me all my life and I used to be rather proud of them. They have also been teased fondly as "the long arms of law" because I sometimes tend to use hair-splitting arguments like lawyers. But they are only a part of my disease.