Diseases that sound made up Part 1: Stoneman disease

Diseases that sound made up Part 1: Stoneman disease

By Joh-co (talk · contribs) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
What in the hell is that love-craftian nightmare of an image!?

Glad you asked, figment of my imagination!  This is from an extremely rare disease, affectionately known as “Stoneman” syndrome.  The much more scientific name is a bit of a mouthful, it’s fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.

Now, this disease is a tad terrifying.  You know how when you get an injury, to any kind of tissue within your body, your body will do its best to repair itself.  Let’s say you have damage to the muscle tissue of your arm.  Let’s go with… the bicep.  Now, normally your body will go through the normal phases of repair, first the Destruction Phase, which is when the tissue is damaged and the area becomes inflamed and starts removing some of the damaged tissue, then comes the Repair Phase which is pretty self-explanatory, but the area that is healing develops a connective tissue scar between the torn muscle fibers where damage was sustained.

Now, nothing weird there, right?  But let’s say, during this whole process, instead of repairing and replacing the muscle tissue with the connective tissue scar.  Your body, instead, replaces it with bone.

Over time, your body will replace healthy tissue with bone.  Tendons, fascia, muscle, will slowly be replaced with bone. If you sustain trauma to specific areas, that tissue will be replaced with bone.  Eventually, your body will be imprisoned by bone.

*Screams externally*

A man sweating profusely.

Isn’t that terrifying!?  Now, fortunately (unfortunately), this disease is genetic.    A total of 800 cases worldwide have been confirmed as of 2017, so it is considered one of the rarest diseases known.  So you can rest easy and not have to worry about catching Stoneman syndrome like you would greyscale in game of thrones.

The most famous example of this disease is Harry Raymond Eastlack.

In fact, the image up top is his skeleton that was donated and preserved for scientific research.  His tendons became bone (ossified), same with his muscle and his joints had fused.  Even the vertebrae of his spine had fused together.  It eventually came to the point that he could only move his lips.

As of right now, there is no known treatment for Stoneman disease.  They can only treat the pain.  What’s insane, is that when they try to surgically remove some of the build-ups of bone, the body will freak out and build up even more bone in that area!

Being imprisoned within your body like that would be rather… unpleasant, wouldn’t you agree?

If you enjoyed this post, let me know!  I enjoy doing little posts like this to kind of mix things up.

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