A Few Hundred People Turned to Bone.
April 7, 2010 3:47 AM Subscribe
"Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is an extremely rare disease of the connective tissue. A mutation of the body's repair mechanism causes fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to be ossified when damaged. In many cases, injuries can cause joints to become permanently frozen in place. Surgical removal of the extra bone growths has been shown to cause the body to "repair" the affected area with more bone."^ Detailed in an article from The Atlantic, February 1998. Part 1. Part 2.
"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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