Orthopedic concerns of a child with short stature

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2022 Feb 1;34(1):82-91. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000001081.


Purpose of review: Pediatric short stature poses severe concerns to the patient, parents, and physicians. Management for pediatric short stature is still widely debated due to heterogenous etiological factors and treatment options. This review will address the approach to pediatric short stature, commonly within the subset of skeletal dysplasia resulting in disproportionate short stature. The following will be discussed: the etiology, clinical, and radiological evaluations, and management for pediatric short stature.

Recent findings: Early recognition of short stature and appropriate referrals is shown to benefit the patient and reduce parental concern. A multidisciplinary team, comprising an orthopedic surgeon, is fundamental to provide holistic care and ensure overall good quality of life. Advancements in clinical diagnostic tools and diversified treatment modalities today provides optimism in managing pediatric short stature.

Summary: Skeletal dysplasia can be treated with good prognosis if diagnosed and managed early. Thorough clinical, radiological, laboratory, and even genetic investigations are important to differentiate and manage various types of skeletal dysplasia. Our review will provide a comprehensive and up-to-date approach to skeletal dysplasia for pediatric orthopedic surgeons, and indications for physicians to refer patients with suspected short stature to pediatric orthopedic surgeons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dwarfism* / diagnosis
  • Dwarfism* / therapy
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiography
  • Referral and Consultation