‘Little People, Big World’: Tori Roloff Reveals She’s ‘Scared’ of Zach Roloff’s Health Issues

The Roloffs are an endearing bunch, and we’ve been keeping up with them for over a decade thanks to their hit series, Little People, Big World. We’ve gotten to know the family quite well over the years, too. While it all began with Matt and Amy Roloff, a married little couple who owned Roloff Farms together and raised their four kids, a lot has changed since the beginning. And though we may not see most of the Roloff kids now that they’re grown, Zach Roloff, their only son who also has dwarfism, gets plenty of air time.

Zach and his wife, Tori, are favorites on the show. Recently, Zach has been experiencing some health issues that have him and Tori worried. Here’s what’s going on.

Zach Roloff opened up in the past about previous health issues

Zach has achondroplasia like his mother, Amy. And while he can expect to live a normal, healthy lifespan, his condition means he’s likely to experience some health issues that many others will not. According to the Genetics Home Reference from the National Institute of Health, sleep apnea, recurrent ear infections, obesity, back pain, and spinal problems are quite common.

Zach has opened up about his health issues in the past, too. Back when Tori was pregnant with their now-2-year-old son, Jackson (who also has achondroplasia), she expressed her concerns over her son’s diagnosis. In Touch Weekly notes Zach shared how he had to have leg straightening done when he was a kid, so he knew his own child might have similar experiences. “I had to have leg straightening, so I had two casts on. Then I had to go back into surgery sophomore year of high school, they added screws to the leg,” he told Tori.

He most recently was diagnosed with a degenerative disc disease

Aside from the drama with Roloff Farms, Zach and Tori have been dealing with their own battles — and one of them is around Zach’s health. PopCulture notes during a recent episode of the show, Zach shared that he’s been experiencing a lot of back and leg pain. “There’s like a tightness to my thighs, there’s a weakness in my knees. Something’s not going right,” he explained. And when he went to see a doctor, they gave him a proper diagnosis. He has a degenerative disc disease that is causing the spinal canal to narrow.

Zach explained that while the condition is quite common for those with achondroplasia to develop this disease, “average-sized people only get it when they’re like 60.” And it looks like surgery is likely the next step for Zach, which has Tori worried. “I am scared. That’s the worst case scenario in my head for him to have surgery. I’m trying really hard not to panic,” Tori said during the episode.

Will Jackson experience similar health scares?

Jackson, Zach and Tori’s 2-year-old son, also has achondroplasia. Does this mean Jackson should anticipate having similar health problems? Tori and Zach have discussed Jackson’s health before, and it seems even with the condition, the child is doing remarkably well. In mid-May, Zach told Us Weekly, “He’s had a couple ear infections, which can be common with dwarfism. There’s a lot of potentials, but for now it’s too early to tell.” Zach also added that Jackson has the same pediatrician he had growing up, “so that’s been really nice because he’s familiar with dwarfism and those things.”

Fans adore Jackson and are hoping he grows up with minimal health scares. As for Zach and Tori’s second child, we’ll have to wait and see if their daughter, who’s due this coming November, will also have a form of dwarfism. Tori noted before that she found out about Jackson’s condition when she was 34 weeks pregnant, so there’s still some time to go yet before she knows for sure about her daughter.

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