How are short stature and growth disorders treated?
Short stature treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition. It also depends on your child's age, health and medical history. Often, all children need is close observation of their growth and development.
During growth disorder treatment, we work with families to develop a plan. For cases caused by malnutrition, we provide nutritional therapy. For cases caused by endocrine conditions, we replace the missing thyroid, growth or puberty hormones.
When your child has a growth hormone deficiency, we provide injections of human growth hormone daily or several times per week. This may continue for several years. Rarely, for some children with low IGF-1 levels, we may instead provide injections of synthetic human IGF-1.
Growth hormone treatment isn't right for everyone. It is appropriate for children who:
- Have growth hormone deficiency
- Are awaiting kidney transplantation and have chronic renal insufficiency
- Have Turner syndrome, Noonan syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome
- Have severe short stature that inhibits their daily activities
- Were born small for their gestational age and have not caught up to the growth curve by 2 years of age
Some children may experience side effects from growth hormone injections, especially if they don't have growth hormone deficiency. We will discuss these side effects with your family before starting therapy. The sooner children begin treatment, the more likely they are to grow to a typical adult height.
Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for your child's growth disorder treatment?
Our Department of Pediatric Endocrinology treats your child as an individual. We evaluate all their physical, radiology and laboratory findings to consider the best solutions for their unique needs.
Once all necessary testing is complete, we meet with your family to discuss your child's condition and outlook. We then work together to select a treatment plan based on our findings and on your preferences as a family.
Our approach may involve experts in genetic disorders, nutrition, adolescent medicine and more, depending on your child's needs.
We offer a full range of medical, radiologic and surgical therapies. We also have nursing and medical support available for our patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.