Achondroplasia, a chondral dystrophy, has been known under the synonyms of "chondrodystropia fetalis," "fetal rickets," "fetal cretinism" and "micromelia." Sommering first described it in 1791. Achondroplasia is of great antiquity. Pernet draws attention to the fact that at the British Museum there are a number of glazed earthenware images, which are unquestionably models of achondroplastic individuals. They were represented as dwarfs with big heads, crooked legs, very long arms, etc.
The pathology was not understood until Parrot differentiated achondroplasia from syphilis and rickets in 1878.
Innumerable writers have considered the subject since that time. Schirmer1 gives 110 references. To this article and to the earlier article of Porak published in 1889, the reader is referred for a full exposition of the entire subject. It would appear to us that Porak's article and Schirmer's are the ones on which the entire