Nemours world-renowned skeletal dysplasia program offers expert care in diagnosing and treating primordial dwarfism. If your child's been diagnosed with primordial dwarfism (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 in 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:
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- 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.
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Renowned pediatric orthopedists and geneticists at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando provide comprehensive care for children with primordial dwarfism, a group of rare conditions that affect growth and development in the earliest stages (while in the womb). Children with primordial dwarfism are born smaller than average due to slow prenatal growth or intrauterine growth, and depending on the type of primordial dwarfism, have developmental features that may include small head size, prominent facial features (such as eyes and nose), spinal curvature (scoliosis) and rounding (kyphosis) and fine, sometimes sparse, hair.
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 Primordial Dwarfism in Central Florida
Primordial dwarfism 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 primordial dwarfism — including Russell-Silver syndrome, Seckel syndrome, Meier-Gorlin syndrome and Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism (MOPD) types I and II — from a genetic and orthopedic perspective.
Primordial dwarfism is caused by a genetic change (or mutation) in two copies of specific genes (one from each parent) important for normal growth and development. The genetic mutation may differ depending on the type of primordial dwarfism. In Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II (MOPDII) for example, the pericentrin gene (PCNT) is involved.
Primordial dwarfism is a form of dwarfism marked by proportionately small stature. In addition to short stature, small head size, spinal deformities and prominent facial features, primordial dwarfism may also cause dislocated knees, hips and elbows, loose joints, delayed bone age and other skeletal abnormalities such as asymmetry (different size limbs) and deformities in the fingers and toes.
Infants and children with primordial dwarfism can have problems feeding, abnormalities of the skull and brain and early puberty. Your Nemours team of specialists will look for and assist in managing these symptoms.
Learn More About Primordial Dwarfism and Related Children’s Health Topics From Nemours’ KidsHealth.org »
Evaluating Primordial Dwarfism in Infants and Children
Primordial dwarfism can be diagnosed in utero, or while the baby is still in the womb. Your child’s evaluation for primordial dwarfism 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 primordial dwarfism, 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 primordial dwarfism 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 Primordial Dwarfism
Skeletal dysplasias, including primordial dwarfism, 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 primordial dwarfism, in some case, surgical procedures may increase mobility 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