Changes in joint laxity occurring during pregnancy.
We have studied changes in peripheral joint laxity occurring during pregnancy in 68 females using both the finger hyperextensometer to quantify laxity at the metacarpophalangeal joint of the index finger and Beighton et al.'s modification of the Carter and Wilkinson scoring system. Although the latter system recorded no change, the more sensitive hyperextensometer demonstrated a significant increase in joint laxity during the last trimester of pregnancy (0.02 greater than p greater than 0.01) over the readings from the same individuals after parturition. When primigravidae and multigravidae were compared, a highly significant increase in laxity was found in women having their second baby over those having their first (0.01 greater than p greater than 0.001), though no further increase in laxity occurred in subsequent pregnancies.