Information for Patients
Your bones help you move, give you shape and support your body. They are living tissues that rebuild constantly throughout your life. During childhood and your teens, your body adds new bone faster than it removes old bone. After about age 20, you can lose bone faster than you make bone. To have strong bones when you are young, and to prevent bone loss when you are older, you need to get enough calcium, vitamin D, and exercise. You should also avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Bone diseases can make bones easy to break. Different kinds of bone problems include
- Low bone density and osteoporosis, which make your bones weak and more likely to break
- Osteogenesis imperfecta makes your bones brittle
- Paget's disease of bone makes them weak
- Bones can also develop cancer and infections
- Other bone diseases, which are caused by poor nutrition, genetics, or problems with the rate of bone growth or rebuilding
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Genes are the building blocks of heredity. They are passed from parent to child. They hold DNA, the instructions for making proteins. Proteins do most of the work in cells. They move molecules from one place to another, build structures, break down toxins, and do many other maintenance jobs.
Sometimes there is a mutation, a change in a gene or genes. The mutation changes the gene's instructions for making a protein, so the protein does not work properly or is missing entirely. This can cause a medical condition called a genetic disorder.
You can inherit a gene mutation from one or both parents. A mutation can also happen during your lifetime.
There are three types of genetic disorders:
- Single-gene disorders, where a mutation affects one gene. Sickle cell anemia is an example.
- Chromosomal disorders, where chromosomes (or parts of chromosomes) are missing or changed. Chromosomes are the structures that hold our genes. Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder.
- Complex disorders, where there are mutations in two or more genes. Often your lifestyle and environment also play a role. Colon cancer is an example.
Genetic tests on blood and other tissue can identify genetic disorders.
NIH: National Library of Medicine
Your muscles help you move and help your body work. Different types of muscles have different jobs. There are many problems that can affect muscles. Muscle disorders can cause weakness, pain or even paralysis.
Causes of muscle disorders include
- Injury or overuse, such as sprains or strains, cramps or tendinitis
- A genetic disorder, such as muscular dystrophy
- Some cancers
- Inflammation, such as myositis
- Diseases of nerves that affect muscles
- Certain medicines
Sometimes the cause is not known.
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a disorder in which muscle tissue and connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments are gradually replaced by bone (ossified), forming bone outside the skeleton (extra-skeletal or heterotopic bone) that constrains movement. This process generally becomes noticeable in early childhood, starting with the neck and shoulders and proceeding down the body and into the limbs.Extra-skeletal bone formation causes progressive loss of mobility as the joints become affected. Inability to fully open the mouth may cause difficulty in speaking and eating. Over time, people with this disorder may experience malnutrition due to their eating problems. They may also have breathing difficulties as a result of extra bone formation around the rib cage that restricts expansion of the lungs.Any trauma to the muscles of an individual with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, such as a fall or invasive medical procedures, may trigger episodes of muscle swelling and inflammation (myositis) followed by more rapid ossification in the injured area. Flare-ups may also be caused by viral illnesses such as influenza.People with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva are generally born with malformed big toes. This abnormality of the big toes is a characteristic feature that helps to distinguish this disorder from other bone and muscle problems. Affected individuals may also have short thumbs and other skeletal abnormalities.
Progressive osseous heteroplasia Progressive osseous heteroplasia is a disorder in which bone forms within skin and muscle tissue. Bone that forms outside the skeleton is called heterotopic or ectopic bone. In progressive osseous heteroplasia, ectopic bone formation begins in the deep layers of the skin (dermis and subcutaneous fat) and gradually moves into other tissues such as skeletal muscle and tendons. The bony lesions within the skin may be painful and may develop into open sores (ulcers). Over time, joints can become involved, resulting in impaired mobility.Signs and symptoms of progressive osseous heteroplasia usually become noticeable during infancy. In some affected individuals, however, the disorder may not become evident until later in childhood or in early adulthood.