History of FOP

FOP or fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (fibro-dis-play-sha os-sih-fih-cans pro-gress-ev-a) means "soft connective tissue that progressively turns to bone."  The earliest documented cases date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1692, French physician Guy Patin met with a patient who had FOP and mentioned the encounter in his writings. In 1736, British physician John Freke described at length an adolescent whose diagnosis included swellings throughout his back.

The disease became known as myositis ossificans progressiva, which means "muscle turns progressively to bone." The name was officially modified to fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva in the 1970s by the late Dr. Victor McKusick of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who is considered the father of Medical Genetics, in order to acknowledge that other soft (or fibrous) tissues in addition to muscle (for example tendons and ligaments) are replaced by bone.

For more information on the history of FOP, please read Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism (PDF).