A dwarf is a person of short stature with an adult height under 4′ 10”. Dwarfism itself is not a disease. However, there is a greater risk of some health problems for people with dwarfism. With proper medical care, most people with dwarfism have active lives and traditional life spans.
More than 200 different conditions can cause dwarfism, but one type called achondroplasia, causes about 70 percent of dwarfism cases. Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that causes arms and legs to develop shorter in comparison to the head and trunk. This is a type of disproportionate dwarfism, where some parts of the body are small, and others are of average size or above-average size. Disorders causing disproportionate dwarfism inhibit the development of bones. Proportionate dwarfism describes a body that is proportionately small.
A number of disorders causing dwarfism can cause a variety of developmental problems and medical complications, so a number of specialists may be involved in diagnosing and treating health problems. Some team members could include a hormone disorder specialist; ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, orthopedics specialist; heart specialist; mental health provider; nervous system abnormalities specialist; and dental specialist.
The Tenet Florida Physician Specialists orthopaedics team may correct some dwarfism skeletal problems through procedures like altering growth plates, straightening bones, supporting the spine and limb lengthening.Previous Page Last Review Date: January 4, 2018