Chondrodystrophy is a skeletal disorder caused by several genetic mutations that affect cartilage formation. It is characterized by a normal-sized body trunk but with shortened extremeties and limbs. People in this condition are often referred to as dwarves, and almost 1 out of 25,000 children is born with this disorder. In a normal cartilage development, hyaline cartilage covers the long bones as well as the spinal cord, and the limbs grow at the end of the long bones. The cartilage then develops into bone joints, but for a person with chondrodystrophy, this process would not happen and would lead to skeletal dysplasia.
There is no cure found yet for chondrodystrophy. A few surgical centers however take the risk of performing leg and arm lengthening experiments, but therapies are offered by various hospitals in order to help those affected by the disorder cope with their situation.
Chondrodystrophy is an autosomal recessive outcome of genes, thus parents should undergo genetic testing to avoid acquiring this disorder. Those affected by chondrodystrophy may as well suffer from other problems such as hormonal and metabolic defects, and should be monitored and regulated by hormonal medications. There are two types of skeletal dysplasia: Type 1 consists of a long trunk and short limbs, and Type 2 is made up of a short trunk and normal-sized extremeties.
Chondrodystrophy can be determined through x-rays and parent testing, but it is not until the baby is born that a diagnosis can be proven. Once the baby is indeed diagnosed with the disorder, the parents should check on him all the time because as he grows older, his senses may as well have some defects. The child may also experience breathing difficulties, scoliosis, and arthritis.