Kniest Dysplasia

Nemours is world-renowned for skeletal dysplasia diagnosis and treatment. We strive to maximize children’s mobility, correct deformity, and prevent future complications. If your child’s been diagnosed with Kniest dysplasia (a type of skeletal dysplasia), we’re here to ease your concerns, answer your questions, and give your child the best possible chance for a healthy future.

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Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando

13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families

Renowned pediatric orthopedists and geneticists at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando provide comprehensive care for children with Kniest dysplasia, a type of skeletal dysplasia that affects the cartilage (flexible connective tissue). Kniest dysplasia is a genetic condition with developmental features that may include short limbs and a short trunk causing short stature (dwarfism), deformities in the joints, spine and vision problems.

At Nemours, our goal is to help children with all forms of skeletal dysplasia achieve the highest level of mobility, function and health possible. Here, you’ll find doctors, surgeons, counselors, nurses and staff who are uniquely qualified and share a strong commitment to your child’s long-term health and wellness. As a team, we work together to manage the physical, emotional and social complexities that come with this condition, and to provide maximum ability and freedom as your child grows and develops.

Learn More About Skeletal Dysplasia Care at Nemours Children’s Hospital »

Expert Care for Children With Kniest Dysplasia in Central Florida

Kniest dysplasia is an extremely rare condition and only a handful of hospitals in the country treat children with this condition. At Nemours Children’s Hospital, we evaluate children with all types of skeletal dysplasia, including Kniest dysplasia, from both a genetic and orthopedic perspective.

Causes of Kniest Dysplasia

Kniest dysplasia is caused by a genetic change (or mutation) in the gene involved in forming type II collagen which is found in the cartilage and the eyes. The defected gene, called COL2A1, can be passed down by a parent, but can also result without a family history of the disease.

Kniest Dysplasia Symptoms

Kniest dysplasia causes holes to form in the cartilage, which results in cartilage weakness, joint swelling and pain. In addition to short limbs, short trunk and short stature, Kniest dysplasia features include flat face, wide forehead and eyes, cleft palate (hole in the roof of the mouth), a rounded short neck, broad chest and dumbbell-shaped bones in the arms and legs.

Children with Kniest dysplasia may also have a flat spine, a sideways curvature of the spine (scoliosis), trouble breathing and vision and hearing problems. Your Nemours team of specialists will look for and assist in managing these symptoms.

Evaluating Kniest Dysplasia in Infants and Children

Sometimes Kniest dysplasia can be diagnosed in utero (while a baby is still in the womb). Your child’s evaluation for Kniest dysplasia at Nemours Children’s Hospital will begin with a diagnostic appointment with one of our pediatric orthopedic experts in skeletal dysplasias. We can often make a diagnosis in our initial evaluation, but, depending on your child’s condition, we may recommend additional diagnostic testing and further evaluation with a geneticist.

Your Child’s First Visit: What to Expect

Because of the complexity involved in making a firm diagnosis in some types of skeletal dysplasias, including Kniest dysplasia, a great deal of information is collected at the initial visit, so it may take an hour or two to complete. During your visit, we’ll:

  • obtain your child’s medical history and a three-generation family medical history
  • review your child’s medical records and previously obtained X-rays
  • perform a physical examination, including detailed measurements of your child’s joint motions (how much each joint can move) and the lengths of arm and leg bones
If Your Child Needs Additional Diagnostic Tests

At Nemours Children’s Hospital we provide advanced testing to help us diagnose Kniest dysplasia and develop an effective treatment plan based on your child’s specific needs. Tests may include:

  • imaging: X-ray, ultrasound, CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • biochemical tests: determine levels of critical proteins in a sample of blood, urine or other fluid or tissue
  • molecular tests: determine a child’s genetic makeup and confirm the clinical diagnosis

Treating Kniest Dysplasia

Skeletal dysplasias, including Kniest dysplasia, are often associated with complex medical and surgical needs. At Nemours, we have an experienced team of health professionals and well-equipped facilities to provide convenient, comprehensive multispecialty care for your child and family.

While there is no cure or simple treatment for Kniest dysplasia, in some cases, surgical procedures may increase limb length and relieve (and prevent) related complications. We’ll work with your family to help you understand the available treatment options.

Learn About Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction at Nemours Children’s Hospital »

Coping and Support for the Entire Family

To help make the experience as comfortable as possible, we also provide emotional and psychosocial support and many other services for your child and family, including:

Learn More About the Support Services and Amenities at Nemours Children’s Hospital »

Where We Provide Care: Where and When You Need It

Our specialty inpatient and outpatient care services are offered on the same floor of our hospital, a design (recommended by our Family Advisory Council) that fosters maximum collaboration among your child’s specialists, and, just as important, is convenient for your family.

What’s more, some of the very same pediatric specialists your child sees at Nemours Children’s Hospital also provide convenient care at our specialty locations in downtown Orlando, Lake Mary and Melborne.

Electronic Health Record System: Keeping Track of Your Child’s Care

No matter where your child receives care at Nemours, your medical team (including your primary care provider) can keep track of your child’s progress and access your child’s medical history, test results and visit notes anytime through our award-winning electronic health record system.

You can also view parts of your child's health records, communicate with your Nemours care team, make appointments, request prescription refills and more through our MyNemours online patient portal.

Learn More About MyNemours »

A Hospital Designed by Families, for Families

At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.

If Your Child Needs to Stay Overnight in Our Hospital

You’ll feel right at home in one of our private patient rooms designed with input from families who know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital.

Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless Internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems, and two flat-screen TVs.

Other in-room features include:
  • full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
  • refrigerator for family meals and snacks
  • wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
  • GetWellNetwork interactive television (uniquely based on your child’s age, medical condition and more) and allows your child to watch TV, surf the Web, check e-mail, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team.

Our “hospital within a garden” setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.

We have many more comforts and amenities such as:
  • complimentary valet and parking
  • kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
  • café and coffee shop
  • nondenominational chapel
  • concierge services

Learn More About Nemours Children’s Hospital »

Advanced Pediatric Medical Imaging Services Available Onsite

If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours
Children’s Hospital.

Our unique services include:
  • interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. We are very fortunate to have the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the state.
  • neuroradiological or cardiovascular imaging, and fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists see children with complex conditions who require this highly specialized imaging.
  • Central Florida’s only 256-slice Brilliance iCT Scanner: We are one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have this latest generation CAT (or CT) scanner that scans faster than most machines and produces excellent images in a much shorter time with much less radiation exposure for the child.

Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns.

We have also pledged our commitment to the “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Learn More About Medical Imaging at Nemours Children's Hospital »

Family-Centered Care Means We're Here for You

At Nemours, we want to hear your concerns and share with you everything we can about your child's condition and treatment. If English is not your first language, we'll make sure you understand what to expect — in your language.

Learn More About Interpreter Services at Nemours Children’s Hospital »

With Your Family From Clinic or Hospital to Home: KidsTRACK

If your child has a complex or chronic condition we encourage you to take advantage of KidsTRACK, a unique service of Nemours Children’s Hospital. Located on the first floor of our hospital, KidsTRACK is designed to help families by providing expert assistance and information on all aspects of your child’s care, even before you leave our hospital or clinic.

A KidsTRACK care coordinator is available during every step of diagnosis, treatment and healing — helping your family make a smooth transition from Nemours Children's Hospital to home. Your coordinator works alongside the nursing/case managers in our subspecialty areas and acts as a single point of contact connecting you to medical and community resources.

Simply ask your physician for a referral to KidsTRACK
or call (407) 650-7715.

Learn More About KidsTRACK at Nemours Children's Hospital »