"I saw a woman today who finally became hard as wood all over," the French physician Guy Patin wrote to a colleague in 1692. This perfunctory note is the first clinical description of FOP. "It may be the strangest disease there is," says Dr. Fred Kaplan (PDF), an orthopedic surgeon and the world's leading authority on FOP. "It's the closest thing you'll find in real life to Kafka's Metamorphosis.".
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