Living Statue Syndrome or Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) is an extremely rare medical condition. It is known to affect one in every two million people worldwide. The condition causes bones to form in areas such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and across the joints. Essentially FOP forms a second skeleton in the body, which makes movement restricted or impossible in severe cases. It progressively imprisons the body in bones.
The condition is inherited and is believed to be caused by a genetic mutation. Symptoms typically begin during early childhood and gets worse as individuals age. Common symptoms include:
- Malformation of the big toe and thumbs
- Abnormally short toes and fingers
- Malformation of the upper spinal column
- Short and broad femoral necks
- Difficulty breathing ( Due to excess bone formation around the ribcage)
- Inflammation and pain during flare ups.
Diagnosis is done by administering a series of genetic tests. Currently there are no cures and treatment is focused toward reducing the severity of symptoms.
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