Gaten Matarazzo, 21, rose to fame after he starred on Netflix’s Stranger Things and took on the role of Dustin Henderson in 2016. Over the years he has gone on to appear in other projects including Honor Society, Prank Encounters, The Christmas Chronicles, and more. Most recently, he has been working on Sweeney Todd on Broadway. The 21-year-old took to Instagram in Feb. 2023 to talk about his role in the hit musical production. “‘He’s definitely quite damaged but earnest. He’s in quite a yearning state for not just attention, but some form of love.’ @gatenm123 on Tobias Ragg’s motivation as a character. #InTheChair,” he captioned the joint post with the production’s Instagram.
Aside from his work on Broadway and Netflix, Gaten has also made headlines for being open about his health. He has been open about his battle with Cleidocranial Dysplasia on his official Instagram account over the years and has even documented the surgeries he had. Keep reading to learn more about Gaten’s rare health disorder, below.
Gaten Matarazzo Diagnosed With Cleidocranial Dysplasia
The rising star has been living with Cleidocranial Dysplasia since his birth, meaning he has been dealing with the rare condition for over two decades. He opened up about his condition during a 2018 interview on The Doctors, where he shared that he was born without collar bones. “I think what the Duffer brothers, the directors of the show, what they really wanted to do was they really wanted to make sure that each character in the show was unique and they had something that was realistic and personal,” he said in regards to Stranger Things.
When Gaten revealed his condition to the showrunners, they decided to write it into the series. “When they heard that I had the condition… they liked how I told them about that and once I got the part they said they’re going to incorporate that and kind of use it in a realistic way,” he explained. He also mentioned that the directors noticed him stretching and that his shoulders were “touching” when he did it. That is when he announced that he was born without collar bones. Gaten’s character was bullied in the show due to the condition which he was “cool” and “realistic.”
What Is Cleidocranial Dysplasia?
Cleidocranial Dysplasia (CCD) is known as a genetic condition that affects ones teeth and bones, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The condition is considered rare as it affects one in 1 million people, per the health organization’s website. CCD also affects the skull, face, spine, collarbones and legs. People with CCD can have bones that are “formed differently” or more fragile. Similarly to Gaten’s case, collarbones can also be absent in people with CCD.
Doctors will typically diagnose CCD using X-rays, testing for the mutation in the RUNX2 gene, or an examination. There are many treatment options for people with CCD, however, it can vary on a case-by-case basis. Some treatments include: orthopaedic surgery, facial reconstructive and dental procedures.
How Long Has Gaten Matarazzo Been Sick?
As mentioned earlier, Gaten was born with CCD and has been dealing with the illness for over 20 years. In recent years, Gaten opened up about his surgery for his illness via an Instagram post on January 29, 2020. “Surgery number 4! This is a big one! To learn more about Cleidocranial Dysplasia and how you can help those with the condition you can go to ccdsmiles.org,” he captioned the selfie ahead of his procedure.
How Is Gaten Matarazzo Doing Today?
Two days later, Gaten returned to social media to update his fans on the successful surgery and shed light on CCD. “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,” he explained in the lengthy caption.
“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,” he went on to share. “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.”