Nemours is world-renowned for the diagnosis and treatment of hypochondroplasia and other skeletal dysplasias. If your child’s been diagnosed with hypochondroplasia (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 hypochondroplasia (HCH), a mild or atypical form of achondroplasia (the most common type of skeletal dysplasia). Hypochondroplasia is a genetic condition with developmental features that may 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 Hypochondroplasia in Central Florida
Hypochondroplasia is a rare condition and only a handful of hospitals in the country treat children with HCH. At Nemours Children’s Hospital, we evaluate children with all types of skeletal dysplasia, including hypochondroplasia, from both a genetic and orthopedic perspective.
Hypochondroplasia (HCH) is a form of skeletal dysplasia that is similar to achondroplasia, but the effects are milder, so children with HCH grow closer to average adult height than do children with achondroplasia. Most cases of hypochondroplasia are genetic due to mutations (changes) in the fibroblast growth factor 3 gene (FGFR3), the same gene responsible for most cases of achondroplasia. However, a child with hypochondroplasia can have a normal FGFR3 gene with a different genetic mutation of unknown cause.
Learn More About Achondroplasia Care at Nemours Children’s Hospital »
Hypochondroplasia may not be identified until late in childhood and may be difficult to distinguish from short stature that runs in a family. In addition to shorted limbs, children with hypochondroplasia 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 hypochondroplasia 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 Hypochondroplasia in Infants and Children
Your child’s evaluation for hypochondroplasia 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 hypochondroplasia, 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 hypochondroplasia 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 hypochondroplasia, 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 hypochondroplasia, in some case, 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.
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