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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Other Names for this Disease
  • HCH
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

What is the treatment? Is there a way to improve the bone growth?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might hypochondroplasia be treated?

The evaluation of children with hypochondroplasia usually does not differ significantly from the evaluation of children with normal stature, except for genetic counseling issues (such as risk of recurrence) and dealing with parental concerns about short stature. Management of short stature may be influenced by the concerns and expectations of the parents. One reasonable approach is to address the parents' concerns about the height of their child rather than attempting to treat the child.[1]

Developmental intervention and special education may be appropriate, if it is indicated in the affected individual.[1]

If spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) is present, a procedure called a laminectomy may be considered. This is a type of surgery that can take pressure off the spinal nerves or spinal canal. However, one study found that about 70% of symptomatic individuals with achondroplasia experienced total relief of symptoms following decompression, without having a laminectomy.[1] Decompression is a less invasive procedure.

Support groups can help the affected individual and the family adapt to short stature through peer support, personal example, and social awareness programs. Support groups may offer information on employment, education, disability rights, adoption of children of short stature, medical issues, suitable clothing, adaptive devices, and parenting through local meetings, workshops and seminars.[1] To see the contact information for several support groups for hypochondroplasia, click here.

Sometimes, for individuals with hypochondroplasia who are more severely affected, the features may overlap with those of achondroplasia. In these cases, recommendations for the management of achondroplasia (outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Genetics) may be considered.[1] The full report on these recommendations may be viewed here. For a more limited description of management of achondroplasia on our Web site, click here.
Last updated: 8/4/2011

Is there a way to improve bone growth in individuals with hypochondroplasia?

Some affected children with severe short stature and disproportion of the body may respond to growth hormone (GH) therapy with an increase in spinal length. This along with a surgical leg-lengthening procedure may make it possible for some individuals to reach adult heights within the normal range.

Some children who have proportionate short stature and hypochondroplasia do not increase their growth rate at puberty. Others seem to grow normally during puberty. However, there is no way of predicting who will undergo a normal growth spurt during puberty. Therefore, affected individuals may be monitored during childhood and given GH treatment only if they fail to develop a growth spurt at puberty. Severe cases may occasionally need treatment before puberty.[2]
Last updated: 8/4/2011

Other Names for this Disease
  • HCH
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.