There are over 200 diagnosed types of dwarfism. There are also some individuals with dwarfism who never receive a definitive diagnosis and/or have a condition that is unique to themselves or their family.

Most types of dwarfism are known as skeletal dysplasias, which are conditions that affect  bone growth. In other words, the bones of people with dwarfism do not grow in the same way as the average sized person.  In general, dwarfism caused by skeletal dysplasias results in what is known as disproportionate dwarfism -- short stature, meaning that body proportions are different than in an average height people, more often than not with limbs that are short in comparison with the rest of the body.

Proportionate dwarfism -- short-stature conditions that result in the arms, legs, trunk, and head being in the same proportion (relative size to one another) as in an average-size person -- is often the result of a hormonal deficiency, and may be treated medically, resulting in an average or near average height. There are not such treatments available for people with disproportionate short stature, otherwise known as skeletal dysplasias.

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