Chandler Crews, a young adult with achondroplasia, explains the condition and her bone lengthening surgery.
Achondroplasia is a skeletal dysplasia characterized by the failure of normal conversion of cartilage into bone, most notably in longer bones, which results in disproportionate short stature. Achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism.
As Chandler explains, people with achondroplasia can experience serious health complications, including foramen magnum compression, spinal stenosis, sleep apnea, bowed legs, mid-face hypoplasia, permanent sway of the lower back, recurrent ear infections, and long term chronic pain.
When Chandler was 16 years old, she made the decision to undergo bone lengthening surgery on her arms and legs. The net result was an increase in height from 3’9” to 4’11”. As Chandler explains in the second part of her interview, this decision was based on her wanting to fix her bow-leggedness, as well as wanting to have a better quality of life.
Currently, there are no treatments designed to specifically target the pathophysiology of achondroplasia. BioMarin is developing vosoritide, a drug that appears to be effective in increasing annual growth velocity in children with achondroplasia.
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