Dwarfism

803 Words Jul 26th, 2013 4 Pages
Dwarfism

"Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is generally defined as an adult height of four feet ten inches or less. The average adult height among people with dwarfism is four feet."

Dwarfism is generally divided into two broad categories: Disproportionate Dwarfism (DD), some body parts are small and other larger, and Proportionate Dwarfism (PD), all parts of the body are smaller than an average person's but are proportionate. Most people with dwarfism have DD which means they have an average sized trunk and very short limbs, but some people have a very short trunk and shortened but larger limbs. The head may also be overly large compared to the body.

A person born with PD may
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These little people have delayed or no sexual development during adolescence and a slower growth rate than expected for age.

Diagnosing a child with dwarfism is based off of height measurements, usually performed at annual well child exams, but if dwarfism is suspected the doctor may want to measure more often than yearly. The doctor will watch the physical appearance of a person for skeletal and facial signs, and most likely take x-rays to check skeletal abnormalities. Other diagnostic tests include genetic testing, but this may not be necessary, and hormone tests to assess the levels of growth hormones and of course and extensive family history to see if the average height in a person's family is of short stature.

Treatment options include surgical procedures that may correct the bones in little people like, dividing a limb bone, straightening it and inserting metal plates to hold it in place. Another procedure is inserting rods or staples to help correct the shape of the spine.

Some people decide to undergo limb lengthening surgery. With this procedure, the surgeon divides a long bone into two or more sections, separates the sections slightly and braces the bone and limb with external metal "scaffolding." Pins and screws on this frame are periodically adjusted to keep tension between the sections, enabling the bone