Information for Patients
Connective Tissue Disorders
Your connective tissue supports many different parts of your body, such as your skin, eyes, and heart. It is like a "cellular glue" that gives your body parts their shape and helps keep them strong. It also helps some of your tissues do their work. It is made of many kinds of proteins. Cartilage and fat are types of connective tissue.
Over 200 disorders that impact connective tissue. There are different types:
- Genetic disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndrome, and osteogenesis imperfecta
- Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and scleroderma
- Cancers, like some types of soft tissue sarcoma
Each disorder has its own symptoms and needs different treatment.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Spine Injuries and Disorders
Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bone discs called vertebrae. The vertebrae protect your spinal cord and allow you to stand and bend. A number of problems can change the structure of the spine or damage the vertebrae and surrounding tissue. They include
- Conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and scoliosis
- Bone changes that come with age, such as spinal stenosis and herniated disks
Spinal diseases often cause pain when bone changes put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. They can also limit movement. Treatments differ by disease, but sometimes they include back braces and surgery.