Achondroplasia is the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism. It is a chondodystrophy in which the development of cartilage and bone is disturbed. The disorder occurs in approximately one out of every 10,000 births (Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine 1999 page 17). It is found in both males and females of all races. Adult male achondroplastic dwarfs average 51.8 inches in height while females average 48.6 inches (Human Growth Foundation 1975). Its depiction in ancient Egyptian art makes it one of the oldest recorded birth defects.
The word achondroplasia derived from Greek and means "without cartilage formation", although people with the disorder do have cartilage. Normal bone growth depends on the production of cartilage, a fibrous connective tissue. …
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