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Achondroplasia Medication

  • Author: Shital Parikh, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey D Thomson, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 29, 2016

Medication Summary

Growth hormone is used to increase the height of patients with achondroplasia (see Medical Care). However, no long-term studies exist to justify prolonged treatment for short stature.


Growth hormone

Class Summary

The anabolic and growth-promoting effects of growth hormone are indirect effects mediated by IGF-I. Growth hormone also increases transport of amino acids and protein synthesis.

Growth hormone, human (Humatrope, Genotropin, Nutropin)


Stimulates growth of linear bone, skeletal muscle, and organs. Stimulates erythropoietin, which increases red blood cell mass.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Shital Parikh, MD Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Shital Parikh, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Association, Orthopaedic Research Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Preeti Batra, MD, MBBS Staff Physician, Department of Radiology, VS Hospital, India

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

George H Thompson, MD Director of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and MetroHealth Medical Center; Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

George H Thompson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Orthopaedic Association, Scoliosis Research Society, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Disclosure: Received none from OrthoPediatrics for consulting; Received salary from Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics for management position; Received none from SpineForm for consulting; Received none from SICOT for board membership.

Chief Editor

Jeffrey D Thomson, MD Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; Director of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Associate Director of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Surgical Subspecialties, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; President, Connecticut Children's Specialty Group

Jeffrey D Thomson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Mininder S Kocher, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Public Health; Associate Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston

Mininder S Kocher, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Sports Medicine, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, American Association for the History of Medicine, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Massachusetts Medical Society

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Smith & Nephew Endoscopy for consulting; Received consulting fee from EBI Biomet for consulting; Received consulting fee from OrthoPediatrics for consulting; Received stock from Pivot Medical for consulting; Received consulting fee from pediped for consulting; Received royalty from WB Saunders for none; Received stock from Fixes-4-Kids for consulting.

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Typical features of person with achondroplastic dwarfism, including normal trunk with rhizomelic shortening and genu varum.
Characteristic skull seen in patients with achondroplasia, with frontal bossing, small foramen magnum, midface hypoplasia, and relative enlargement of skull as compared with face.
Progressive narrowing of coronal interpedicular distance in lumbar spine in patients with achondroplasia. Note characteristic shape of pelvis with horizontal sacral position.
Thoracolumbar kyphosis with narrow lumbar spinal canal and concave posterior bodies in 13-month-old child with achondroplasia.
Typical features of lower limbs in person with achondroplasia, including horizontal acetabular roofs, small sacrosciatic notches, genu varum and ankle varum with relative overgrowth of fibula, and inverted V-shaped distal femoral physis.
MRI showing cervicomedullary compression at foramen magnum in patient with achondroplasia.
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