A to Z: Chondrodystrophy
May also be called: Chondrodysplasia, Chondrodystrophia
Chondrodystrophy (kon-dro-DIS-trah-fee) is a general term that refers to a disorder that interferes with the body’s normal development of cartilage. This leads to abnormal skeletal growth and formation.
More to Know
During a baby’s development in the womb, much of the skeleton is made up of a tough, flexible tissue called cartilage. Normally, cartilage is converted to bone by a process called ossification. With chondrodystrophy, the body has a problem growing cartilage and converting it to bone, especially in the long bones of the arms and legs.
Many people with chondrodystrophy have normal-sized trunks, but short limbs and short stature. Chondrodystrophy also can cause knock-knees, bow-leggedness, or excessive curving of the lower back (lordosis or kyphosis).
Chondrodystophies happen because of a mutation in a gene that develops and maintains bone and brain tissue. These mutation occurs before a baby is born. One type of chondrodystrophy, achondroplasia, is the most common cause of dwarfism. Chondrodystrophy can be inherited from a parent or can be caused by a random gene mutation.
Keep in Mind
There is no cure for chondrodystrophy, but the symptoms are typically only physical and do not affect intellectual ability or life span.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.