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What Does 'Double-Jointed' Mean?


Updated May 15, 2014

Definition: The term double-jointed is an inaccurate way of saying that someone has hypermobility of their joints. Double-jointed would imply that the individual has more joints than normal or that their joints have a twice-normal motion — neither of these is true.

The truth is that people who are called "double-jointed" have joints with more mobility than normal. In some individuals, this is normal. In others, there is an underlying medical reason for the joint laxity. For example, people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome have abnormal connective tissue, allowing for excessive joint motion.

Also Known As: joint hypermobility, joint laxity
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