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Child with short legs. What to do?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 567 Questions
At 10 years old I took my son to a child's Endocrinologist, but I cannot remember what it was for. The minute the doctor say me standing next to my son, he asked me if my son's father had short legs. I replied "yes". He was 6'4" and wore 32" length jeans. He took an xray of my son's hands and although XXXXXXX (my son) was tall compared to his classmates, the doctor said XXXXXXX will probably grow one to two more inches until he reaches his full height. XXXXXXX went through puberty early and this along with the fact that XXXXX parents were both tall and the dad had short legs XXXXX growth was stunted at an early age. The doctor gave the condition a name but I cannot seem to find it. Do you know what the name might be? Or was this doctor off his rocker?
Thank you,
Posted Mon, 5 Aug 2013 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Jay Patel 4 hours later

I am dr XXXXXXX and I will try my level best to help you.

Based from the information you are looking for the medical name of the condition where the person has short leg as compared to torso.

The condition of having short legs and long torso is know as "NEOTENY".

Hope this answer satisfies your need. Feel free to contact for any further concerns.

Thanks of the query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child with short legs. What to do? 18 minutes later
NEOTENY would be the condition of my son's father. The Pediatric Endocrinologist stated the father's Neoteny combined with my son going through early puberty, causing a rapid height Increase in 6th grade is what stunted his growth at such an early age. Everyone thought my son was going to be very tall, possibly 6'2", the height of his Dad.

It was the two contributing factors, Neoteny and early puberty, that his Endocrinolgist (Pediatric) that stunted his growth. The doctor gave the stunted growth its own medical condition. But then sgsin, maybe he wss pulling my leg.

Thank you for identifying a part of my question, Dr XXXXXXX


Answered by Dr. Jay Patel 23 minutes later

Sorry I missed to understand you question in the first part.

Let me explain you that your endocrinologist was try to convey in a simpler terms. It bit hard to understand but I will try to make it as clearer as I can.

Now Neoteny is as trait in human beings like "Chinese have slanted eyes" people belonging to neoteny has on inherent GENES (dna) which will not allow the legs to grow as long as seen in other people. (as in case of Chinese people not able to have straight eyes. {please do not take it as racial mockery, just trying to explain} )

Now here is the second factor about puberty. Puberty comes and brings various changes in the hormonal levels. For example - Girls starts sprouting breast , boys has mustaches, deepening in voice, are related to higher level of estrogen in girls blood stream which testosterone in boy's blood stream.

Similarly the growth is done under the hormone(chemical released by brain) called growth hormone giving a person to grow longer, the bones has a growth plate at the end of the bones which normally grows apart untill the puberty strikes. once the puberty strikes the growth plates in the long bones fuses and will not support further growth in vertical axis ( long axis). So how much the body produce the growth hormone it will be incapable of increasing the bone growth in vertical direction as the growth plate are fused due to puberty.

So the early puberty may seem like increase in length first giving a hope of getting longer but rapid growth that stays for time till the growth plates fuses and after the fusion of the growth plate of long bones no vertical growth will be achieved.

I know its very confusing, please read it more then once. Still if unable to follow then feel free to contact me.

Thanks again.
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