How is achondroplasia treated?
There is no achondroplasia treatment for babies before birth. We may be able to diagnose achondroplasia or suspect that your baby has the condition before birth. If so, you will have more ultrasounds to monitor the size of the fetus’s head and overall growth. If the head grows significantly larger, you may need to deliver via cesarean section.
If you have achondroplasia, we monitor you closely throughout your pregnancy. The risk of stillbirth or dangerously high blood pressure (preeclampsia) is higher for mothers with achondroplasia. You may have difficulty breathing during pregnancy as your baby grows and presses against your lungs. We recommend that mothers with achondroplasia deliver via cesarean section.
Most newborns who have achondroplasia don’t need special medical treatment and can receive care in the regular nursery. Soon after birth, we recommend that your baby have these tests:
As your child grows, they may need monitoring and treatment to manage complications and symptoms of achondroplasia. Treatments and testing include:
- Continued head and body measurements to track growth and monitor for hydrocephalus in the first two years
- Treatment for frequent ear infections to prevent hearing loss
- Speech-language therapy to improve speech, language, thought processing and socializing
- Physical therapy to help with delayed motor development
- Dental and orthodontic care to improve teeth alignment
- Orthopedic spine and back care to correct spine problems and bowed legs
- A variety of adaptive accommodations, such as foot and seating support with school desks, and aids for managing heavy doors and high doorknobs
At Children's Hospital Colorado, we offer growth hormone treatments through research studies that aren’t always available at other fetal centers. These treatments may help your child grow a few inches taller as they reach adulthood. If your baby is eligible, they can join the study and start receiving treatment soon after birth.
Why choose us for achondroplasia treatment?
Learning that your baby may have achondroplasia can be distressing. At the Colorado Fetal Care Center, our specialists will ensure that you have a safe pregnancy and delivery, if you deliver at our hospital. After your baby is born, we help develop a customized care plan. Our dedicated Achondroplasia Clinic includes pediatric experts from across our hospital who have experience caring for children with achondroplasia.
Our multidisciplinary care allows your child to see all their providers in one visit to save you time and improve their care. Read about our fetal specialists and surgeons and their teams who help your family through this journey to a healthy delivery.