Bone Dysplasia

Also known as: bone dysplasia, skeletal dysplasia, achondroplasia

What is Bone Dysplasia / Dwarfism?

Dwarfism is a type of short stature. There are hundreds of different medical conditions (for example, short parents, lack of hormones, diseases that affect the kidneys or liver and others) that can affect ultimate size and/or the growth of an infant. In general dwarfism can be divided into those conditions which cause some parts of the body to be small while other parts are normal (Disproportionate dwarfism) or where all parts of the body are small (Proportionate dwarfism). The bone/cartilage abnormalities that lead to changes in the size and shape of the legs, arms, skull or trunk, are known as bone dysplasias. These conditions frequently cause shorter stature, or dwarfism. Achondroplasia is the most common type of bone dysplasia, though there are many many others.

What causes Bone Dysplasia / Dwarfism?
There are many different causes of dwarfism. Several different types of genetic mutations can cause bone dysplasia. Typically, the mutated gene is passed down from one or both parents; not infrequently (depending on the particular condition) affected children may have parents of average height, without a family history of bone dysplasia.

What are the symptoms of Bone Dysplasia / Dwarfism? 
The most common symptom of dwarfism and bone dysplasia is the physical appearance, including shorter or different-sized legs, arms, skull and trunk. Some children may have joint pain, scoliosis, developmental delays, learning disabilities or other symptoms depending on the underlying disorder.

What are Bone Dysplasia / Dwarfism care options?
Treatment for dwarfism/  bone dysplasia will vary widely based on the nature and severity of the condition. Some may grow taller, longer bones with hormone injections or bone-lengthening surgeries, though there are complications involved with these treatments. Others need care to help with pain or complications related to the disorder. Children will need the expert help of a group of Pediatric Specialists all of whom can be found at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 8/27/2018 10:12:53 AM

Weekly Support Programs

Brain Wellness: Yoga for Kids

This program is provided by a certified yoga instructor. It offers children and teens the following benefits: managing stress through breathing, self-awareness, healthy movement and meditation. Yoga also promotes strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Learn more.

From the Newsdesk

What is the Personalized Medicine Biobank?
The Nicklaus Children's Hospital biobank and tissue repository is an essential resource for personalized medicine research efforts, enabling the study of both health and disease over time. The Biobank collects samples and health information from volunteers, regardless of health history. Once a participant becomes part of the Biobank, he or she contributes to ongoing health research. We partner with Sanford Health, a national leader on specimen storage, management and integration with participant health information.
January Patient of the Month: Layla
When Layla was 5, she came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital with a severe case of scoliosis. To help straighten her spine, Layla spent time in halo gravity traction. While her mom returned home to Gainesville for work and school, the nurses at Nicklaus Children's took care of Layla, acting as substitute mothers and making sure she was well cared for.