What is dwarfism?
Dwarfism is a condition of short stature. It is defined by the advocacy group Little People of America (LPA) as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or under, as a result of a medical or genetic condition. Although other groups may extend the criteria for certain forms of dwarfism to 5 feet, the average height of an adult with dwarfism is 4 feet.
What causes dwarfism?
- Can be caused by any one of more than 300 conditions, most of which are genetic. The most common type, accounting for 70% of all cases of short stature, is called achondroplasia.
- Achondroplasia may be inherited as dominant trait, which means that if a child gets the defective gene from one parent, the child will have the disorder. If one parent has achondroplasia, the infant has a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder. If both parents have the condition, the infant's chances of being affected increase to 75%.
- Due to the uneven production of growth hormones by the pituitary gland dwarifsm is caused and gigantism also but its the opposite of it.
Types of dwarfism
There are an estimated 200 types of dwarfism. There are two main categories of dwarfism. One category is disproportionate dwarfism, meaning that the person has some average-size parts of the body, such as the head and/or trunk, and some shorter-than-normal parts of the body, such as the legs and arms. The most common type of disproportionate dwarfism is achondroplasia. In fact, achondroplasia acounts for about 70 percent of all cases of dwarfism.
The other main category of dwarfism is proportionate dwarfism, meaning that the person is small all over.
Common surgical treatments
Surgical procedures that may correct problems with bones in people with disproportionate dwarfism include:
- Inserting metal staples into the ends of long bones where growth occurs (growth plates) in order to correct the direction in which bones are growing.
- Inserting rods or staples to help correct the shape of the spine.