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 diastrophic 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.
Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando
Locations & Doctors
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 diastrophic dysplasia (DTD), a very rare form of skeletal dysplasia with developmental differences that causes short stature (dwarfism), very short limbs, spinal curvature (scoliosis) and rounding or hunching at the neck-level of the spine.
At Nemours, our goal is to help children with all forms of skeletal dysplasia, including diastrophic 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 Diastrophic Dysplasia in Central Florida
Diastrophic dysplasia is a very rare condition and only a handful of hospitals in the country treat children with DTD. At Nemours Children’s Hospital, we evaluate children with all types of skeletal dysplasia, including diastrophic dysplasia, from both a genetic and orthopedic perspective.
Diastrophic dysplasia is caused by changes (mutations) in a gene called SLC26A2 important in building cartilage during fetal growth (while still in the womb) and throughout adolescence. It’s inherited when both parents are carriers of the mutated genes and pass them on to their child.
Diastrophic dysplasia, also called diastrophic dwarfism, impacts bone structure and development and often affects the feet, hands, joints and spine. In addition to short limbs, short stature (dwarfism) and scoliosis (spinal curvature, which typically occurs as the child grows), symptoms may also include joint dislocation (elbow, shoulder, kneecap), clubfoot, limited finger movement and irregular walking (or gait).
Though the problems caused by diastrophic dysplasia can be extensive, they are usually limited to bone and cartilage growth; mental ability and other systems are usually not affected.
Evaluating Diastrophic Dysplasia in Infants and Children
DTD is typically diagnosed in utero, or while the baby is still in the womb, with ultrasound imaging. However, there are other orthopedic conditions we’ll look for after delivery and as your child grows. Your newborn’s first evaluation 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 diastrophic 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
At Nemours Children’s Hospital we provide advanced testing to help us diagnose diastrophic 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 Diastrophic Dysplasia
Skeletal dysplasias, including diastrophic dysplasia, are often associated with complex medical and surgical needs. At Nemours, we have an experienced team of health professionals in more than 30 major specialties and well-equipped facilities to provide ongoing multispecialty care with convenience and continuity.
While there is no cure or simple treatment for diastrophic dysplasia, in some cases surgical procedures and therapies can 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 Diastrophic Dysplasia Care
The needs of a child with diastrophic dysplasia 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 intervals until your child is six years old and then move to annual appointments.
Orthopedics appointments are scheduled based on the most recent evaluation, as are other specialist appointments when needed. 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