In SED, regular assessment by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, conversant in the management of skeletal dysplasias, is essential. Clinical and radiographic assessment should be conducted every six months, more frequently if closer supervision of an impending problem is necessary.
Additionally, any change in gait pattern should be taken seriously. This may be associated with tiredness, decrease in walking distance, reduced endurance, or muscle pain. Any alterations in sensation (tingling or numbness in arms and legs) or loss of bowel/ bladder control are indicative of spinal cord irritation or compression.
Changes in trunk symmetry, shoulder height differences, prominence of one hip, or rib prominence on bending forwards may indicate a changing curvature in the spine.
Knock-knees may also progress over time. The best method of accurately assessing this is to obtain X-rays.
Flatfeet may cause pain, footwear problems, or callosities in the skin.
If central apnea is suspected, a respiratory physician may be sought out to conduct sleep studies. Central apnea results from spinal cord compression from cervical spine instability.
Generally, all skeletal dysplasias warrant multidisciplinary attention. Regular assessment by an orthopedist, geneticist, pediatrician, dentist, neurologist and physical therapist will provide the most comprehensive treatment.