This current study describes how human genetic approaches are used to identify and understand the roles of genes and their protein products, during skeletal development, growth, and homeostasis. Searches for the genes responsible for brachydactyly, symphalangism, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, and camptodactyly-arthropathy syndrome are presented to exemplify these approaches. The important role of the orthopaedic surgeon in this process is discussed.

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