Bones Home > What Are the Symptoms of Achondroplasia?

Many people ask, "What are the symptoms of achondroplasia?" The most common symptom of achondroplasia is dwarfism. Other common symptoms of achondroplasia include: an average-size trunk, short arms and legs, and an enlarged head.

What Are the Symptoms of Achondroplasia? -- An Overview

Achondroplasia is a bone growth disorder. Although achondroplasia literally means "without cartilage formation," the problem is not the forming of cartilage. The problem occurs when the cartilage has difficulty converting to bone, especially in the long bones of the arms and legs.

What Are the Symptoms of Achondroplasia? -- Short Stature

All people with achondroplasia have a short stature. The average height of an adult male with achondroplasia is 131 centimeters (52 inches, or 4 feet 4 inches), and the average height of an adult female with achondroplasia is 124 centimeters (49 inches, or 4 feet 1 inch).

What Are the Symptoms of Achondroplasia? -- Other Symptoms

Characteristic symptoms of achondroplasia include:
  • An average-size trunk.
  • Short arms and legs with particularly short upper arms and thighs.
  • An enlarged head (macrocephaly) with a prominent forehead.
  • Fingers are typically short. The ring finger and middle finger may diverge, giving the hand a three-pronged (trident) appearance.
People with achondroplasia are generally of normal intelligence.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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