Do you still remember "Manequein Challenge" a challenge that requires people to stay quiet like a statue for some time, which was viral on social media recently? Apparently there is a disease that makes a person unable to move like the challenge. In the medical world, this disease is called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).
What is Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP)?
FOP is a condition in which bones grow outside the skeleton. This abnormal bone growth replaces connective tissue, including tendons and ligaments. FOP is caused by a genetic mutation, the ACVR1 gene. This gene is involved in bone growth and development which makes them mutate more. This gene can be passed on from parents, but in many cases FOP can mutate in people who do not have a history of this disease from their parents.
Characteristics and symptoms of FOP
One sign that can be found is a big toe defect, where the condition of the thumb on both feet is shorter than it should be and in the opposite direction with the other toes. This is recognized by half of people who suffer from FOP if they have a similar problem with the thumb.
Another sign is the replacement of soft bone tissue. Usually characterized by tumor growth in the back, neck and shoulders. This growth is very painful and quickly turns into bone. This bone growth lasts throughout life and spreads throughout the body.
In addition, there are signs that also occur very often that are due to injury or the presence of a virus that triggers faster growth. This makes people affected by FOP very difficult to do this type of surgery or even injections because the needle cannot penetrate.
FOP spreads last 6 to 8 weeks. Patients feel pain starting from the upper part of the body tend to from the neck and shoulders radiating to all parts of the body, accompanied by swelling, stiffness in the joints, discomfort throughout the body, and mild fever.
What will happen if someone has FOP?
- Movement is very limited because some bones grow into the joint, causing limited mobility, resulting in problems with balance and coordination in the body.
- Even minor injuries can cause more inflammation and bone growth.
- Bone growth in the chest can limit breathing, increase the risk of respiratory infections.
- The limited motion in the jaw makes it difficult to talk and eat, which can cause malnutrition and weight loss.
- About half of people with FOP disorder experience hearing loss.
- Poor blood flow can cause blood clots in the arms or legs, resulting in swelling.
How do you treat FOP?
Until now there has been no treatment that can slow or stop the development of this disease. But treatment for certain symptoms can improve quality of life. Some of them are:
- Take corticosteroid drugs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) aka anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling
- Use assistive devices such as braces or special shoes to help walk
- Do therapy
Nothing can make new bone growth disappear. Surgery will only produce more bone growth. Avoid doing a biopsy because it can cause bone growth to spread faster to other areas
Intramuscular injections, like most immunizations, can also cause problems. Dental care must be done carefully by avoiding injections and stretching of the jaw.
Injuries from falls can trigger more inflammation. Any physical activity that increases the risk of injury should be avoided.
FOP is a chronic disease and there is no cure. Treatment only helps reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. The rate of development of this disease is different for everyone and is difficult to predict. It's important to get the correct diagnosis as soon as possible from the doctor, because certain tests and treatments for other conditions can encourage new bone growth.
FOP is a rare disease, even most people don't know about this disease before. There is no way to prevent it. FOP is not contagious, but it is still important to educate the public about the profound effects of this condition. Research related to this disease continues.
- 4 Things That Can Speed Up Bone Loss
- It turns out Astronauts Are at Risk for Backbone Damage
- What You Need To Know Before Undergoing Bone Scan