Nemours is world-renowned for the diagnosis and treatment of achondroplasia and other skeletal dysplasias. We strive to maximize children’s mobility, correct deformity and prevent future complications. If your child has been diagnosed with achondroplasia (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.
For Appointments: (407) 650-7715
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 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
Bring these forms for your first appointment:
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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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 achondroplasia (the most common type of skeletal dysplasia). Achondroplasia is a genetic condition with developmental features that include short limbs causing short stature (dwarfism) and differences in the structure of the pelvis, backbone and sacrum (where the pelvis, backbone and tailbone connect).
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.
Expert Care for Children With Achondroplasia in Central Florida
Achondroplasia is a 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 achondroplasia, from both a genetic and orthopedic perspective.
Achondroplasia is a form of skeletal dysplasia that is caused by a genetic mutation (or change) that is passed from a parent to child. This mutation occurs in the fibroblast growth factor 3 gene (FGFR3), which is responsible for bone growth. The spontaneous (sudden) genetic change typically arises during sperm formation in the father.
Achondroplasia may not be identified until the toddler years when bones begin to bow. In addition to shorted limbs, children with achondroplasia often have limited elbow extension, a larger than average head for body size and changes in the vertebra (the stacked bones that make up the backbone) that can be seen on an X-ray.
Children with achondroplasia may also have narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) or sideways curvature of the spine (scoliosis). Your Nemours team of specialists will look for and assist in managing these problems.
Evaluating Achondroplasia in Infants and Children
Your child’s evaluation for achondroplasia 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.
Because of the complexity involved in making a firm diagnosis in some types of skeletal dysplasias, including achondroplasia, 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
At Nemours Children’s Hospital we provide advanced testing to help us diagnose achondroplasia 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
Skeletal dysplasias, including achondroplasia, 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 achondroplasia, in some cases, surgical procedures or human growth hormone (HGH) therapy may increase limb length and relieve (and prevent) related complications. We’ll work with your family to help you understand the available treatment options.
Your Child’s Coordinated Achondroplasia Care
The needs of a child with achondroplasia change over time, that’s why your child’s care team is here to anticipate and correct problems along the way. For your convenience, we typically schedule follow-up genetics appointments at six-month or one-year intervals, depending on your child’s condition and needs. Orthopedics appointments are scheduled based on the most recent evaluation.
We understand that arranging travel and managing multiple appointments can be difficult, so we’ll work with you to schedule appointments all on one day. What’s more, some of the very same pediatric specialists your child sees at Nemours Children’s Hospital also provide convenient appointments at our specialty care location in downtown Orlando.
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:
- social work
- Child Life services
- mental health counseling
- patient and family education
- spiritual care
- support groups
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.
You’ll feel right at home in our patient's 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
If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours
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. Nemours also offers the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologists in the state, including those based at Nemours Children's Hospital.
- 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.
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.