Dwarfism

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.
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Types Dwarfism

  1. Disproportionate : Characterized by an average-size torso and shorter arms and legs or a shortened trunk with longer limbs
  2. Proportionate : Characterized as the body parts are in proportion but shortened.

Dwarfism Causes

Dwarfism can be caused by any of more than 200 conditions. Causes of proportionate dwarfism include metabolic and hormonal disorders such as growth hormone Deficiency.The most common types of dwarfism, known as skeletal dysplasias, are genetic. Skeletal dysplasias are conditions of abnormal bone growth that cause Disproportionate Dwarfism.


Achondroplasia ( Cause)

The most common form of dwarfism, achondroplasia occurs in about one out of 26,000 to 40,000 babies and is understood at birth. People with achondroplasia have a relatively long trunk and shortened upper parts of their arms and legs. Other features of achondroplasia include:

  • A large head with a prominent forehead
  • A flattened bridge of the nose
  • Protruding jaw
  • Crowded and misaligned teeth
  • Forward curvature of the lower spine
  • Bowed legs
  • Flat, short, broad feet
  • "Double-jointed-ness"

Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias (SED)

Affect in one in 95,000 babies.Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia refers to a group of conditions characterized by a shortened trunk, which may not become apparent until a child is between 5 and 10 years old.


  • club feet
  • cleft palate
  • weak hands and feet
  • barrel-chested appearance

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Diastrophic dysplasia

A rare form of dwarfism, diastrophic dysplasia occurs in about one in 100,000 births. People who have it tend to have shortened forearms and calves (this is known as mesomelic shortening).

Other signs can include

  • Deformed hands and feet
  • Limited range of motion
  • Cleft palate
  • Ears with a cauliflower appearance
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Treatment

People with dwarfism related to growth hormone deficiency can be treated with growth hormone.

In many cases, people with dwarfism have orthopaedic or medical complications. Treatment of those can include:

  • Insertion of a shunt to drain excess fluid and relieve pressure on the brain
  • A tracheotomy to improve breathing through small airways.
  • Corrective surgeries for deformities such as cleft palate , club foot, or bowed legs.
  • Surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids to improve breathing problems related to large tonsils, small facial structures, and/or a small chest.
  • Surgery to widen the spinal canal (the opening through which the spinal cord passes) to relieve spinal cord compression.

Other treatments

  • Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and increase joint range of motion.
  • Back braces to improve curvature of the spine.
  • Placement of draining tubes in the middle ear to help prevent hearing loss due to repeated ear infection
  • Orthodontic treatment to relieve crowding of teeth caused by a small jaw.
  • Nutritional guidance and exercise to help prevent obesity, which can aggravate skeletal problems.
- Alakh,Tirth,Smith