Melnick-Needles patients have a particular facial appearance with prominent, widely-spaced eyes, full cheeks, small facial bones, and an unusually small lower jaw. The skull may be slow to develop. The bite of the teeth when bought together may be abnormal.
The upper arms and the last bones in the fingers may be shorter than normal. One of the short bones of the arm and leg may be bowed. The distal (farthest from the body) ends of the long bone of the arm and of the two short bones of the leg may be flared. The connection between the long bone of the leg and the hip may be misaligned, producing an unusual walking pattern.
Melnick-Needles patients may also have a relatively small chest cavity with irregular ribbon-like ribs, a short collarbone, and narrow shoulders. The lower part of their chest has a hollow shape. The vertebrae may be longer than normal. Part of the pelvis may also be flared.
Occasionally, dislocation of the hip may occur. Also, the tube that runs from the kidney to the bladder may be abnormally narrow. This may lead to urine retention and kidney problems.
Patients may develop osteoarthritis of the back and/or hip in later years. The shape of the pelvis in females may make normal childbirth difficult. They may also be susceptible to respiratory infections. Height is not usually affected.