Kniest dysplasia is a congenital, autosomal dominant disease caused by a COL2A1 gene mutation, characterized by skeletal abnormalities, short stature, and vision and hearing impairment. De novo mutations are also possible, therefore a case may emerge in a family with no history of genetic diseases.
Kniest dysplasia may be diagnosed at birth, based on the newborn's clinical traits. Such a child will have short trunk and limbs, up to micromelia or rhizomelia, and abnormally large joints. As the toddler grows older, other aspects become visible, such as the fact that he or she experiences articular pains and restricted movements, as well as the presence of kyphosis, scoliosis or kyphoscoliosis, hyperlordosis, platyspondyly, hypoplastic pelvis, coxa vara, hip dislocation, and clubfoot. Long bones are dumbbell-shaped and have flared metaphysis and flat, squared-off epiphyses. The facies has certain characteristics too, such as a round shape with wide-set eyes, low nasal bridge, micrognathia, and midface retrusion. A cleft palate is not uncommon and, if left untreated, causes speech impairment and delay. The adult height in no more than 106-147 centimeters. Serious discomfort comes from advancing joint enlargement and contracture, especially that of metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints .
The disease also causes ocular abnormalities, such as retinopathy, vitreoretinal degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, myopia. Some of these abnormalities are encountered in the other type II collagenopathies . Recurrent otitis media may lead to conductive hearing impairment or hearing loss. Other features of the disease include the presence of tracheal stenosis, tracheomalacia, blepharoptosis, proptosis, glossoptosis, umbilical or inguinal hernia, and motor delay. Intelligence is unaffected and life expectancy is normal.
Kniest dysplasia diagnosis is difficult to make in a newborn, as some features become apparent only as the child grows older. Other diseases, like Strudwick type dysplasia and allied disorders, or Spranger-Wiedemann disease should be taken into consideration  .
The diagnosis is made after corroborating the clinical aspect and the radiological traits. These include the presence of deformed and large epiphyses, enlarged metaphyses of the femur, absent femoral head, absent ossification of the pubic bones, broad ilia with hypoplasic basilar areas. The femoral head, when it exists, is affected by delayed ossification and the femoral neck is short and broad. A radiological evaluation will also reveal vertebral abnormalities like platyspondyly or more severe malformations.
Genetic studies may reveal COL2A1 gene mutations consisting of deletions , splice site mutations , or amino acid substitutions , leading to the appearance of short type II collagen monomers, the substrate of the disease. Despite being transmitted in an autosomal dominant manner, the disease may manifest as a sporadic disease  .
Any patient with Kniest dysplasia should be referred for an ophthalmological evaluation. Tests will be performed in order to evaluate the presence of myopia, which is usually high, with a mean of -11 diopters. Retinal detachment is observed in some cases, causing blindness. Dislocated lens, cataract, and vitreoretinal degeneration can also be encountered  .