Health problems are common in children and adults with achondroplasia. Not all of
the below problems occur in every child with achondroplasia. Each problem can be addressed
by your child's healthcare team. Problems may include:
No breathing for short periods of time (apnea). Babies
often have episodes of apnea. Surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids often
corrects this problem.
Regular ear infections. These may need to be treated with
Buildup of fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus). This may
need to be drained or managed with the insertion of a tube called a shunt.
Posture problems. Babies may have a small hump in the
upper back (kyphosis). This often goes away when a child begins to walk. But walking
often leads to the lower back curving inward (lordosis). Physical therapy may help
with this problem.
Dental problems. Crowded or crooked teeth may need to be
treated by an orthodontist.
Obesity. Your child’s healthcare provider can advise ways
to help keep your child’s weight healthy.
A child with the condition may also
have small vertebral canals. These are the spaces inside the spinal bones. This may
to spinal cord compression as a child gets older. In rare cases, a child with
achondroplasia may die suddenly in infancy or early childhood during sleep because
compression of the upper end of the spinal cord. Compression in this area causes
problems with breathing. Around 12 months of age, your child's healthcare provider
recommend a CT scan or MRI scan to check the diameter of the spinal canal to help
prevent this complication.