Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva: A Rare Disease Due to Unawareness, Case Report and Literature Review



Introduction and importance

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva is an ultra-rare genetic disorder of progressive soft tissue ossification. Due to unawareness and poor clinical suspicion, the rate of misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis, and unnecessary diagnostic procedures leading to permanent injury and lifelong disability is common. Here we report this rare genetic disorder in a six years old child who was initially misdiagnosed as multiple exostoses and operated on.

Case presentation

A 6 year old child presented with swellings over the posterior neck and back for four years. The patient was misdiagnosed as a case of multiple exostoses and an excisional biopsy was done a year back. The swelling worsened after the excision; currently, she cannot move her neck from side to side, and flex and extend. Examination revealed multiple hard and slightly tender masses over the posterior neck, para scapular and thoracolumbar para spinal region. She also has hallux valgus deformity that had been present since birth. CT (computed tomography) scan confirmed extensive extra-skeletal soft tissue ossification.

Clinical discussion

The progression of heterotopic ossification is characteristically anatomic and orderly, typically initially involving the body’s dorsal, axial, cranial, and proximal regions and later in the ventral, appendicular, caudal, and distal regions. Skeletal muscles of the tongue, diaphragm, extra-ocular muscles, cardiac muscles, and smooth muscles are inexplicably spared.


Early diagnosis prevents potentially harmful diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The characteristic big toes malformation is the most important and best key for the early suspicion of the diagnosis.

Source: Science Direct