Achondroplasia is a disease affecting the growth of the bones. The matter that connects the bones is called cartilage.
In achondroplasia the cartilage is also affected. So, resultantly the growth of bone is stunted. Usually calcium is deposited in the cartilage, and in the normal course, it thickens and develops as bone. Hence, they have stunted bones.Achondroplasia occurs approximately in one in every 10,000 births. There is a very peculiar appearance of the baby which is subnormal. With this characteristic appearance, the disease is easily diagnosed.
In achondroplasia, bone growth to its normal size is prevented, and the bone becomes thick. The trunk bones and skull bones are the worst affected. Openings in the skull for the spinal cord and vertebrae are smaller than normal. This leads to excessive accumulation of fluid in the head.
Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder, and a parent having it, has a fifty percent chance of passing the disorder to the child. Very surprisingly, the defects will be increasing with the advancement of age of the father.
The main characteristic of achondroplasia is the shorter limbs. But the trunk and head are of normal size. But the shorter limbs make the head appear bigger. They will be having a saddle nose. The lower part of their back will have an abnormal curvature. The forehead will be very prominent. These children will be affected by a very serious infection of the middle ear. It will be very repetitive also. This will ultimately lead to the loss of hearing. However, the children's mental capacities and reproductive capabilities of the achondroplasia will be normal.
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