You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.

This one is about: Resource - Short Stature and Clefting, Midline Defects


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>>Equally as difficult for me to deal with as my son's cleft is his small
>>stature and delayed bone age.

There is a parent support group for children with statural disorders ("too" short or "too" tall) called the MAGIC Foundation. Great group for parents - you can reach them at 1-800-3 MAGIC 3, they are a great support group. There is a relationship between growth hormone deficiency and clefting, since they are both what we call "midline" disorders - ie. problems with structures/organs that develop in the middle of the body. This means if you have either of these problems you are more likely than someone without that problem to also have the other problem.

-- Kirt Simmons DDS, PhD 

>Hi Dr. Simmons.
>I was wondering too if there was a connection between short stature and
>cleft lip and palate.  I was born with a midline cleft.  I'm 5'2" and
>am the shortest person in my immediate family.  The only adults in the
>family who are shorter than me was my dad's mom and my dad's oldest niece.

As mentioned in my other post - there are a number of specific rare conditions (or "syndromes" if you prefer) that have statural disorders and clefting as tow components- it would really require a geneticist or dysmorphologist to make these diagnoses - this can have implications, obviously, if one is considering having children themselves.  It is
important to realize, however, that this is unfortunately a double-edged sword in some ways these days with the insurance companies & HMO's wishing to exclude coverage of people if they have DIAGNOSED problems!  So even
though it is important to know this you put yourself at some risk otherwise - great Catch-22 right?  The relationship between clefts (especially midline clefts) and short stature USUALLY relates to a problem with the pituitary gland, which forms in the middle of your head at the "bottom" of your brain, and makes growth hormone (or is supposed to and if it does not one does not reach one's POTENTIAL height (genetic potential that is).  One of the best ways to identify these problems is by keeping ACCURATE height/weight charts (ie. NO shoes, stadiometer to measure height, calibrated scale for weight) and then having a knowledgeable person evaluate them.  Children between the
ages of 2 and puberty should grow about 2 inches per year, with growth hormone deficiency they will grow- but significantly less a year.  Growth hormone "shots" can be given to allow these kids to reach their genetic potential, but once you go through puberty the shots do not work. There is current controversy over whether adults with growth hormone (GH) deficiency should still be taking some GH.

Kirt Simmons DDS, PhD

Note: Also see KALLMANN Syndrome: WS-190


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