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 metatropic 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 metatropic dysplasia (MTD), a form of skeletal dysplasia with developmental differences that include short stature (dwarfism), shortened limbs and progressive forward and sideways curvatures of the spine (kyphoscoliosis).
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 Metatropic Dysplasia in Central Florida
Metatropic dysplasia is a very rare condition and only a handful of hospitals in the country treat children with MTD. At Nemours Children’s Hospital, we evaluate children with all types of skeletal dysplasia, including metatropic dysplasia, from both a genetic and orthopedic perspective.
Metatropic dysplasia is caused by a mutation (or change) in a gene called TRPV4, which plays a role in cartilage and bone development. Typical bone development requires that both copies of the TRPV4 gene that a child inherits (one from each parent) work. A mutation may occur during the DNA copying process that is part of sperm and egg production, so even though both parents may have working TRPV4 genes and no sign of metatropic dysplasia, a child may get a copy of the gene that does not work.
Initially, metatropic dysplasia is characterized by very short limbs with a dumbbell shape and an average-sized trunk. Over time, additional features such kyphoscoliosis (spine curvature with a rounding or hunching back) and shortened joints (called joint conjectures) can occur, which decreases trunk height and limb length.
Children with metatropic dysplasia may also have respiratory problems, spinal cord compression and/or hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Your Nemours team of specialists will look for and assist in managing these problems.
Evaluating Metatropic Dysplasia in Infants and Children
MTD can sometimes be diagnosed in utero (while the baby is still in the womb). Your child’s evaluation for metatropic 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.
Among other things, complications with breathing and the spine are possible, so we’ll bring in additional specialists (such as a pediatric pulmonologist and/or neurologist) as needed.
Because of the complexity involved in making a firm diagnosis in some types of skeletal dysplasias, including metatropic 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 metatropic 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 Metatropic Dysplasia
Skeletal dysplasias, including metatropic 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 metatropic dysplasia, in some cases, surgical procedures and therapies can improve mobility and repair (and prevent) related complications. We’ll work with your family to help you understand the available treatment options.
Your Child’s Coordinated Metatropic Dysplasia Care
The needs of a child with metatropic 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 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