Neurosurgical management of symptomatic thoracic spinal ossification in a patient with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva

Case report

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Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by heterotopic ossification of soft connective and muscle tissues, often as the result of minor trauma. The sequelae include joint fusion, accumulation of calcified foci within soft tissues, thoracic insufficiency syndrome, and progressive immobility. The authors report on a patient with FOP who developed severe spinal canal stenosis in the thoracic spine causing substantial myelopathy. He underwent a thoracic laminectomy and resection of a large posterior osteophyte. Unique considerations are required in treating patients with FOP, including steroid administration to prevent ossification and anesthetic technique. The nuances of neurosurgical and medical management as they pertain to this disease are discussed.

Abbreviation used in this paper: FOP = fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.
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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Eric H. Elowitz, M.D., Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center, 525 East 68th Street, Starr 651, Box 99, New York, New York 10065. email: ere2006@med.cornell.edu.Please include this information when citing this paper: published online December 16, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.11.SPINE1164.
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