Seventeen-year-old ‘Stranger Things’ star Gaten Matarazzo has thanked fans for their “kind wishes and prayers” after successfully undergoing a fourth surgery for a rare bone disorder. Matarazzo, who also hosts ‘Prank Encounters’ on Netflix, suffers from cleidocranial dysplasia, a condition that affects the growth of his bones and teeth.
In a series of photos on Instagram, the actor explained that the hope was that this would be the last surgery he would need for the condition, and explained a little more about why the operation was an unfortunate necessity.
In a snap featuring Matarazzo recovering in a head sling, he explained:
“Though my expression in this picture may not show it, the surgery was a complete success?. This was such A big one, it may be the last one I need. Hopefully at least.
“Those who suffer from Cleidocranial Dysplasia usually have Supernumerary teeth, which are extra teeth that grow in the gums. I’ve had several surgeries to extract these teeth from within my gums and help expose the teeth that should have already grown in considering my age. "Check out the Stranger Things teen showing off his singing talents on stage:
“In this surgery, the team of amazing medical professionals extracted 14 supernumerary teeth and exposed six of my adult teeth. I was under for four hours. My recovery for the past few days has been great and I can’t thank the team that did the surgery enough.
“Thank you all for your kind wishes and prayers. It means a lot. Again, if you’d like to learn more about Cleidocranial Dysplasia, you can go to ccdsmiles.org. Thanks again everyone”
According to the US Library of National Medicine, Cleidocranial Dysplasia is caused by “mutations in the RUNX2 gene. This gene provides instructions for making a protein that is involved in the development and maintenance of teeth, bones, and cartilage.”
While Matarazzo has previously said that he suffers from “a very mild case” - as per People - it has still affected his ability to build a career as an actor. The hope is that, after this fourth surgery, he can get on the road to recovery while continuing to raise awareness for what can be a very debilitating condition.