As human beings, we tend to take our body functions for granted, especially our bone health. However, certain conditions could disrupt our bones and their growth. One such condition is Dysplasia Epiphysealis Hemimelica, commonly known as Dysplasia.
Dysplasia Epiphysealis Hemimelica is a rare disorder that affects bone joints. The condition affects the cartilage on the end of one or more of the long bones, primarily in the hands or feet. This disorder is aptly named as it is a combination of three Greek words: ‘dys,’ meaning abnormal or bad; ‘plassein,’ meaning form; and ‘epiphysis,’ meaning the rounded end of a long bone. Simply put, Dysplasia causes abnormally formed cartilage on the ends of long bones.
This disorder is evident in a disproportionate increase in bone size, leading to joint deformity or pain. The limb affected may also appear to be larger than the other limbs, leading to visible asymmetry in the hands or feet, which could cause gait abnormalities. In some cases, the abnormalities could cause a leg or arm of uneven length. Although Dysplasia is typically one-sided, it could occur in both limbs.
Dysplasia is a genetic anomaly, which makes it difficult to predict, and it affects different age groups. Medical records show that the condition is more prevalent in males than females. The disorder has no cure, and management requires an interdisciplinary approach. With its challenges, early diagnosis is crucial. The earlier the diagnosis, the more optimal the outcome of the management.
The symptoms of Dysplasia Epiphysealis Hemimelica vary significantly. Some people may experience mild symptoms that are easily manageable, while others may experience severe symptoms that affect their daily activities. Unfortunately, the disorder can progress slowly and worsen with age. In severe cases, patients may experience joint immobility and pain, which reduces limb function and may eventually necessitate surgical procedures.
Fortunately, there are various treatment procedures to manage Dysplasia Epiphysealis Hemimelica. Treatment may involve physical therapy, pain management, orthotic brace prescriptions, or surgical procedures. Physical therapy is a non-invasive management procedure that focuses on joint mobility, strength building, and improving gait abnormalities, among other things. Pain management could be oral analgesics or anti-inflammatory medications. In contrast, orthotic bracing could help stabilize the joint at the affected limb to alleviate symptoms that could lead to damages caused by the condition.
If these treatment methods are not possible or the patient has a severe case of Dysplasia, surgical procedures may be necessary. The surgical methods used include arthroscopic shaving, joint removals or fusions, and corrective osteotomies for limb length discrepancy.
In conclusion, Dysplasia Epiphysealis Hemimelica is a rare condition that can affect bone growth, mainly in the hands or feet. It could lead to severe complications with time if left untreated. Patients experiencing even mild symptoms should consider seeing Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, who specializes in podiatric medicine and surgery. Although Dysplasia has no cure, it can be managed effectively using various methods, depending on the severity of the condition. Hence, it is essential that patients seek medical attention promptly from a recognized medical practitioner to ensure optimal results.