Many people are unaware that Danny DeVito’s shorter-than-average stature results from Fairbank’s disease, also known as multiple epiphyseal dysplasias. He is best known for his roles as the “mean little guy” in his films.
The 77-year-old Hollywood actor, who stands 4 feet 10 inches tall, was born with the disease and has previously discussed how it affected his youth and career. MED is caused by a problem with bone and cartilage growth, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Problems with the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, in particular, can cause early arthritis by accumulating in the cartilage and causing premature degradation. This contributes to the individual’s short stature, which ranges from 57 to 67 inches or 4.5 to 5.5 feet.
DeVito has previously stated that, despite rarely discussing his illness, his illness made him an “easy target” for bullies, adding that he “took a lot of lumps.”
“My face would be in a position where I would be perceived as moving too quickly, so I wouldn’t be able to slow-dance with the girls I wanted to.”
DeVito’s disability later had an impact on his acting career, as well as causing him some minor difficulties as a child. On a good day, he’s five feet short, according to reports. “I find it difficult to play characters other than the small man.”
In addition to shortening people’s height, MED can cause their ankles to roll inward and obstruct blood flow to their joints.
The illness can also take many different forms. The two most common types are autosomal dominant MED and autosomal recessive MED. Although slightly different genes cause the two, the symptoms that people experience are comparable in both cases.
Though the celebrity has never appeared to have any difficulties as he has gotten older, a 2018 event in Mexico City in which he collapsed on stage while promoting Disney’s Dumbo seemed to frighten fans.
Aides rushed to the veteran actor’s side as he collapsed on his chest, his hands absorbing most of the impact. DeVito, who appeared to be okay, stood up quickly before giggling in his seat and saying, “I guess I’m okay. I made a mistake.”
On social media, however, audience members and admirers expressed their concerns. If there is no guardrail, a strong person should have been on his arm, according to one who wrote: “He should never have attempted to climb stairs alone.”
MED can be treated in various ways once it has been identified. Realignment surgery can help correct abnormalities, but if the person is in severe pain, total hip, knee, or shoulder replacements may be required.
People with MED, as previously stated, are more likely to suffer from the common ailment of premature onset of arthritis, which can cause quite distressing symptoms. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the two most common types, frequently affect joints such as the hands, spine, knees, and hips.
The first, osteoarthritis, first affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. Osteophytes, or bone spurs, form over time as tendons and ligaments have to work harder as the cartilage lining becomes rougher.
The second condition, rheumatoid arthritis, is a more serious autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system usually attacks the synovium joint first before spreading throughout the joint, causing swelling and changing the shape of the joint.
Despite the fact that there is currently no cure, there are numerous treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease. While rheumatoid arthritis is frequently treated with physiotherapy to reduce joint inflammation, osteoarthritis is usually treated with lifestyle changes and medication.