Freeman Sheldon Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Freeman Sheldon Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Craniocarpotarsal dystrophy (dysplasia)
  • DA2A
  • Distal arthrogryposis type 2A
  • FSS
  • Whistling face syndrome
  • Whistling face-windmill vane hand syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Freeman-Sheldon syndrome is a rare inherited disorder characterized by multiple contractures (i.e., restricted movement around two or more body areas) at birth (congenital), abnormalities of the head and face (craniofacial) area, defects of the hands and feet, and skeletal malformations. Craniofacial abnormalities may consist of characteristic facial features that cause the individual to appear to be whistling. These features include an extremely small puckered mouth (microstomia); a "full" forehead appearance, unusually prominent cheeks; and thin, pursed lips. Affected infants may also have an unusually flat middle portion of the face, a high roof of the mouth (palate), an unusually small jaw (micrognathia), an abnormally small tongue (microglossia), and/or a raised, scar-like mark in the shape of an "H" or a "V" extending from the lower lip to the chin. Affected infants often have abnormalities affecting the eyes including widely-spaced deep-set eyes, crossed eyes (strabismus), and/or downslanting eyelid folds (palpebral fissures). Malformations of the hands and feet are also characteristic of Freeman-Sheldon syndrome. Children with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome may also exhibit speech impairment; swallowing and eating difficulties; vomiting; failure to grow and gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive); and/or respiratory problems that may result in life-threatening complications. Freeman-Sheldon syndrome can be inherited as an autosomal dominant genetic trait. However, most cases occur randomly with no apparent cause (sporadically).

Supporting Organizations


PO Box 751112
Las Vegas, NV 89136
Tel: (702)769-9264
Fax: (702)341-5351
Tel: (888)486-1209

Craniofacial Foundation of America

975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Tel: (423)778-9176
Fax: (423)778-8172
Tel: (800)418-3223

FACES: The National Craniofacial Association

PO Box 11082
Chattanooga, TN 37401
Tel: (423)266-1632
Fax: (423)267-3124
Tel: (800)332-2373

Freeman-Sheldon Research Group, Inc.

1701 Hamill Avenue
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Tel: (304)624-1436

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States

1 North Main St
PO Box 1069
Sherburne, NY 13460
Tel: (607)674-7901
Fax: (607)674-7910

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267


42 Park Road
Peterborough, PE1 2UQ
United Kingdom
Tel: 1733555988
Fax: 8454507755

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  12/13/1969
Copyright  2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.