Long bones measuring short.: Hi, not too sure if anyone... - NCT

NCT

47,987 members15,674 posts

Long bones measuring short.

skenn profile image

Hi, not too sure if anyone else has been through or going through a similar experience. I'm 30wks pregnant and from the 20 week scan every five weeks we've been having checks on our LO, as the femur was measuring below the 3rd centile, it consistently measured below and last week we went for another scan and the growth had slowed down, to say I'm concerned is an understatement. Could it be that our LO just hasn't had it's growth spurt yet, and could it's dad's height be a factor - he is 5ft 6inches, and all his family members (mum, dad, sisters and uncles) are all 5ft to 5ft1. We are being referred to a specialist but I'm just worrying - a lot.

45 Replies

Hello, I don't have any experience I'm afraid, but it sounds like you are being looked after very well by your hospital. It may jut be that your little one will be petite like daddy's side of the family. I'm sure the specialist will be able to offer all the possible explanations for why this could be happening. Do you have a long wait for your appointment? Xx

skenn profile image
skenn in reply to

We've got an appointment on Wednesday - they wanted to leave us a week to see how much baby grew over that period. Thanks for your response. x

That's good it's not too long. (Although I'm sure it will feel like a lifetime!) It's probably really tempting to do lots of online research but sometimes it can cause more worry than re assurance. Let us know how you get on on Wednesday xx

Hiya, I totally understand your anxiety but I think that the family trend in terms of height is a highly likely explanation. As I hope they have said as long as the general trend is consistent then this could just be normal for your baby. Your OH's family are probably in a similar centile of the population (I am too!) I guess their concern is that you baby's growth seems to have slowed - but all babies have fluctuations in growth. I remember that all of mine seem to have 'dropped off' their growth curve in the last few weeks of pregnancy when they are supposed to be having a bit of a surge. I hope that your Weds appt helps to put your mind at rest - let us know how it goes. x

Hi there, just wondering how your appointment went? I had similar circumstances with my son and very stressful xx

Update: unfortunately no defin ate yes or no that our baby has a skeletal problem. All the long bones are below the 3rd centile and always have been, but no other issues found, bones are straight, hands and feet are perfectly fine and head and abdomen measurement are spot on. They couldn't get a clear view of the frontal head as baby has its head well and truly down - even though the docs wiggled baby a lot it wouldn't move..slightly stubborn! So we go back in 2 weeks for another scan.

Sorry you haven't really got any answers yet. Must be very frustrating. Hope the scan in 2 weeks time goes well and baby co operates!! :) x

All the scans and checks can be very stressful - I know. I went for my 12 week scan and I was 15 weeks and was told baby had short long bones and was referred to specialist 2 weeks later whom scanned and advised an amnio. Another 2 weeks later the results returned as a rare chromosome disorder. The diagnosis from doctors varied and they had me beside myself. My little beauty was born very small at 3lb 11oz at 38weeks and 5 days he was tiny and so beautiful but he scored 10 out of 10 in the newborn score ratings. He is now one and all development being normal and a typical little boy monkey - such a character - a little bit smaller than another his age - but he loves his mummy! lol I am not suggesting that this may be anything like your little one but in previous experience I was told my other children were going to be 10lb at birth and they were both 7lb 1oz so I really don't think scans and midwife measurements are accurate. I searched all sites for info on short long bones and couldn't find anyone so thought I would reply. I don't want to worry you any more than you already are I just want you to know that if you want someone to talk to that has had a short long bone diagnosis you have me - as I wish I had of had someone. take care xx

skenn profile image
skenn in reply to jjzb

Jjzb thank you so much for your post it gives me hope, the doctor we saw isn't 100% sure either way so were preparing for best and worse case scenario just so it isn't a shock to us or our families if baby has a skeletal condition. I know the scand aren't accurate especially bring so late on in pregnancy and docs are not always right, so we've got everything crossed all will be ok, it'sjust the uncertainty and stress of it all. Whereabouts on the charts was your beautiful little one measuring? X

Kateb89 profile image
Kateb89 in reply to skenn

Hiya I realise you posted this a couple of months ago but was wondering how things turned out? I went for my 20 week scan last Wednesday and babies arms and legs were measuring below the 3rd centile. I was given an appointment for two days later with a specialist, which confirmed that all of babies long bones are measuring short. Everything else on baby is fine including head chest and heart, they have explained that skeletal dysplasia would be easier to see from about 24 weeks so have to go back.

Lakskumar profile image
Lakskumar in reply to jjzb

Hi madam we have also got same problem.doctor told baby has constitunally short long bones plz help us..

From the first scan they said his legs were running 5 weeks behind all other measurements they monitored him fortnightly and always remained 5 weeks behind until week 37 when growth stopped. The doctors had diagnosed I think every condition under the sun until the amnio results returned! x

kels22 profile image
kels22 in reply to jjzb

What was the result of your little boy when his legs were measuring 5 weeks behind? I'm 25 weeks and my baby's long bones are measuring 5 weeks behind and rather nervous.

jjzb profile image
jjzb in reply to kels22

My little boy has a chromosome issue and is still smaller than kids his own age at 3 1/2 he is wearing clothes for a 2 year old. I decided on having the amnio as couldn't deal with all the different predictions from doctors. But as others have said their babies have been born with no issues. It won't let me copy my previous posts down but if you read back to the start of this post there is more info on what we went through. All measurements were 5 weeks behind for the full pregnancy I don't have the actual measurements as hospital has my maternity file. I know what your going through and it's awful but your little one might be just small as others have commented. If you would like to know anything else ask away. Take care xx

Update No.2: Well, went for the 2nd scan at Manchester yesterday, bones still just below the 3rd centile, however they have grown, Doc is now more inclined to think our baby is just growing slowly and will be petite in height - taking after it's dad and dad's side of the family. He wants to re-scan in 3 weeks and hopefully if there's another increase he will quite happily say 100% there is nothing wrong, but he is more positive now than he was two weeks ago - and there are no other markers to indicate a skeletal dysplasia. So all in all a lot more positive which has now helped me relax.

jjzb profile image
jjzb in reply to skenn

So pleased that your appointment went well and bones growing with only a few weeks to birth you must be so excited. x

Short long bones

I feel like I need to share my story for other Moms out there...

I'm so sorry to hear about your stress with your ultrasound. I had one too at 30 weeks that showed long bones less than 5th percentile. My baby consistently measured very small for the next few weeks. They told me he would probably have some kind of dwarfism. My quad came back normal early on. The only weird thing is I showed a low PAPP-A. I declined the amino at 30 weeks. I knew it wouldn't change my mind either way. The next few weeks I cried all the time, and googled every thing about short long bones. I was very upset, but I turned my worries to The Lord. Either way I knew I would love my child he would be a blessing, and would just have a little different path in life.

I gave birth to a tiny baby boy at 3lbs 11oz 17 inches. Turns out he did not have a genetic disorder but my placenta had a virus. Coreoamnionitis. (Sp?) my son was measuring small because he was growth restricted. Thank God he can't when he did at 34.5 weeks. He spent 29 days in the NICU and is one month old and at home and perfectly healthy. He's already grown 2 inches. Please get a second opinion ultrasound. Ultrasounds are not perfect and the measurements are just guidelines. Prayer and love will get you through this.

in reply to Colomom

Thank you for sharing your story. I had my scan today at 19 weeks 5 days and they told me his arms and legs are measuring significantly shorter. We are being referred to a specialist. This is just terrible :( He looked so perfect to me on that screen. My first son was very small when born but we were never told anything during scans. All we can do is pray...but I found your reply very comforting.

At our 20 week scan, they said our baby girl had short long bones (below 5th percentile), especially of the femur. We had to have weekly scans and they did an amnio and tested for downs and other chromosomal abnormalities via a karyotype test and also a CGH microarray. Both came back negative, so they ran another test to look for the presence of the SHOX gene (as the mother is short) which also came back negative. They thought perhaps our baby was constitutionally small because the mum is short (1.56m and 50kg). During a scan at week 30 our baby had also decided to put her head into a hyperextended position and stayed like this at each subsequent weeks scan (she was also breach). At week 33 + 5 days, mums water burst and she had an emergency c-section. Baby had some swelling on her neck and right leg as well as talipes valgus on both feet (particularly the right). She was very small at 1.47kg but has been putting on weight. She is now almost 40 weeks and her weight is 2.2kg and her length is 40cm. She has had some problems feeding due to reflux and an immature swallow and problems maintaining oxygen saturation (spO2). We saw the geneticist last week who says that due to her size and all the complications we have experienced that she probably has some kind of skeletal dysplasia. We had a negative result come back for hypochondrolplasia, but the test only identifies 70% of people with this disorder. Her length is way below the 3rd percentile and she is not putting on weight as quickly as they would like (also way below 3rd percentile). Her head circumference is on the 2nd percentile and has stayed there. Her legs are shorter than they should be, but x-rays have shown the bones to be straight. She is still in special care baby unit and we do not know what the future holds for her. They are going to take x-rays of her skull next and the geneticist thought her eyes looked prominent which could indicate her skull is not forming properly. Very worried :-(

Hi. I am in the same situation. I just wondered if you had any updates on how your baby was? Many thanks

Hiya

My baby boys long bones measured below the third centile throughout my pregnancy and after many scan and even having a blood test myself to rule out achrondroplasia which came negative. when he was born they didn't have any more concerns about him and nothing more was said. Unfortunately at his 6-8 week check the doctor said the growth of his head was excessive and was referred to the hospital. They gave him an ultrasound and told us he has a bit too much fluid on his brain but it's not putting pressure on his brain. They are now concerned he may have a form of skeletal dysplasia as his legs are slightly smaller than they should be and cos his head is larger than what it should be. In all honesty I can't see this myself and think he looks perfect. We are waiting for another appointment on the 7th of jan so hopefully will know more.

Hiya

My baby boys long bones measured below the third centile throughout my pregnancy and after many scan and even having a blood test myself to rule out achrondroplasia which came negative. when he was born they didn't have any more concerns about him and nothing more was said. Unfortunately at his 6-8 week check the doctor said the growth of his head was excessive and was referred to the hospital. They gave him an ultrasound and told us he has a bit too much fluid on his brain but it's not putting pressure on his brain. They are now concerned he may have a form of skeletal dysplasia as his legs are slightly smaller than they should be and cos his head is larger than what it should be. In all honesty I can't see this myself and think he looks perfect. We are waiting for another appointment on the 7th of jan so hopefully will know more.

in reply to Kateb89

Praying for you....I'm currently awaiting a specialist bc they say my baby's arms and legs are measuring significantly shorter than they should be. This is a hard road!

Dreydrey profile image
Dreydrey in reply to

I know it's been 4 years, i'm currently going through something so similar how's your baby?

I went for my ultrasound today. I'm 19 weeks 5 days and was told arms and legs were looking significantly shorter. I will not know more until an appointment with a specialist. This is the most agonizing thing I have ever been through.

Kateb89 profile image
Kateb89 in reply to

Through what I have experienced this is more common then we realise. It can be something simple like short parents short baby. Unfortunately my baby also has a prominent forehead which is another marker for skeletal dysplasia. In all honesty though I believe he is just short. We have just got back from the hospital as he had an infection and because of his head I took him down to be on te safe side, they have him another ultra sound and they reckon if anything the fluid is looking better. I really hope if I can give any advice it will be to try and be optimistic as hard as it may feel especially with all the hormones. Where abouts do you live ?? What is the fetal care like at your hospital? Xx

in reply to Kateb89

We are actually having to go about 2 hours away for the specialist. Our appointment is Monday morning. The doctor did not seem concerned about anything but his short arms and legs. They checked everything else and all seemed fine. My first baby was tiny when born...only 5 lbs and we were never told anything throughout the pregnancy. My husbands side of the family is very small, and mine is not much bigger. I know all we can do is pray! I am just hoping for something from the specialist that can give me some more comfort! This thread was overall very encouraging but all I can do is worry for my baby!

in reply to Kateb89

We are from Waco, Texas and having to go to Austin for MFM doctor.

kgvl profile image
kgvl in reply to

Can you update me your story, since it has been a year ago? I am pregnant and going thru the same situation as you. My baby is measure 2 weeks behind legs and arm, and I'm 25 weeks now. This whole situation is stressing me out.*(

I'm from London england so there might be some differences in the fetal care here. I think it's a very encouraging thing that the family are all on the short side as this can be a simple explanation. Babies all grow at different rates and also these scans are not always 100% accurate, in my many many searches of the Internet I have heard so many stories which are exactly like this and the baby has been fine. I hope your scan goes well and do let me know what they say.

in reply to Kateb89

Thank you for the encouragement!! I will let you know what we find out on Monday. I'm so ready to go but scared at the same time.

How many weeks are you?

Littlemum123 profile image
Littlemum123 in reply to

Hi hidden I have come across your post going through the same thing..how did things work out ?

Alfie was born on the 24th of October. Just had another doctors appointment last Wednesday and this doctor was pretty happy with Alfies measurements and said she thinks there is nothing wrong, but we still are going to see a consultant. I personally think there is nothing wrong and he seems to be getting longer after a period of getting tubby lol. X

I am so glad to have found this site! I went for my 36 week ultrasound and my daughter's limbs are measuring 5 weeks behind. I was sent to a specialist that same day and she told me she was diagnosing my daughter with achondroplasia so that they would preform the X-rays once she is born to rule out or confirm. Her forehead and spine were in normal range and her long bones although extremely short are straight and not curved. I have been so worried and upset since my appt. I am constantly trying to find information but it seems this is just a waiting game now. I am only 4'11 and my father's family is very petite (4'10-5'3), so she may take after that side of her family and just be small but husband's family is tall and he is 6'0. I am just very overwhelmed and caught off guard. Praying a lot and just hoping that whatever comes I have the strength to deal with it.

kiermcgill profile image
kiermcgill in reply to Stacy85

What ever happpened to this post? We are in the exact same boat....

I am wondering how your LO turned out. My boy is measuring very short. At 30 weeks an ultrasound showed his FL was below the 1st percentile. I am 5'4" and DH is 6'3". Not really any short people in our family (I am the shortest). Head was measuring in the 60th percentile and AC was 7th. At the second ultrasound the doctor measured herself and said all long bones looked straight, all fingers and toes looked normal. Foot size was normal, but the long bones still measured under the 1st percentile. She and the Geneticist are confident he has a skeletal disorder. They said they can't say there's a 0% chance he'll be normal, but it is almost that unlikely :( Now we just have to wait and see how he grows in the next two months. I should also mention that on a quad screen I was given a 1 in 7 chance of baby having Down's Syndrome but the Harmony blood test ruled that out.

Hi demi09,

I was wondering if you had any further updates. My wife and I are going through the same thing. We're just over 30 weeks but the femur has been measuring short as well as the other long bones since week 25. Hope you are doing well?

Hi i am an indian..indians do measure small most of the times..during my 39th week scan i was told that all long bones r 4-5 weeks behind and radiologist gave opinion of skeletal dysplasia cant be ruled out..my height is 4 11 and my husband 5 6 and many short statured persons from both sides of family.femur measurements are lagging behind since 20 weeks..i am not concerned as i had my quadrple screening test for downs which showed v low risk..i am not concerned about achondroplasia too as it is v v v rare and we are basically from a family of small persons..i know my baby is perfectly healthy :-)

Genetic mutations or skeletal dysplasias are v rare probably 1/10000 thats it

And more eg is my frn who is 5 11 height almost 6 feet ..she was told that her babys femur is 2 weeks behind durinh her 34th week scan..she isnt concerned too as usg measures fetuses who r moulded and crowded in our wombs and bones are soft too at that stage..plz dnt worry ladies..

Jadennino profile image
Jadennino in reply to Ramya99

Hi did every thing turn out ok

Rgrs27 profile image
Rgrs27 in reply to Ramya99

hi ma'm I am indian and pregnant with 25 weeks and all long bones are 5 week behind with club feet doctor diagnoses it as a lethal skeletal dysplasia where baby can survive like normal except short height max up to 4 ft .. we both are above 5.5 ft .. everything was normal at 20 week but now its shows abnormality ... kindly share your experience and how is your child now ??/ we have not gone throw any genetic test or we dont have any family history of short stature

Hello,

This happened to a friend of mine. In the end everything was fine and her little one is actually quite tall! I'm no expert but thought you might like to hear a positive story! x

Hi, I went today for my 20 week appointment and was told my baby was in the 8th percentile with short long bones. From reading all the posts this seems to be a similar situation is Mothers have went thru. I am stressing out! I go back in 4 weeks. I saw a High Risk Dr for this today since I am 35 and this will be our first child. I have had all the blood work done with all negative results. No Down syndrome, mental retardation, no genetic disorder...nothing. Can anyone help me they this?? Any suggestions or helpful words would be appreciated!!

Thanks,

A stressed out, nervous mommy

in reply to Heather5514

As with all the scan results there is a possibility of human error. Sonographer might not have taken extra care when measuring, baby might have been very active etc... you should try to relax and see what they say on your next scan.

Stay strong

Gin_stro profile image
Gin_stro in reply to Heather5514

Hi Heather5514, just wondering how things turned out?

hi ma'm I am indian and pregnant with 25 weeks and all long bones are 5 week behind with club feet doctor diagnoses it as a lethal skeletal dysplasia where baby can survive like normal except short height max up to 4 ft .. we both are above 5.5 ft .. everything was normal at 20 week but now its shows abnormality ... kindly share your experience and how is your child now ??/ we have not gone throw any genetic test or we dont have any family history of short stature

You may also like...