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Stone Man Syndrome: Boy born with disease that turns muscles into bone

USA TODAY USA TODAY 4/08/2016 Mary Bowerman

A one-year-old Oklahoma boy is battling a rare disease that causes his muscle tissue to slowly become bone, KFOR-TV reports. 

Chasity Kirkman told KFOR-TV she knew something was wrong with her son Ryder when he was born.  

"His fingers and toes weren't fully developed," Kirkman said.

After months of testing, Ryder was diagnosed with Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive, also called Stone Man Syndrome, KFOR-TV reported. 

The rare genetic disease causes muscle tissue and connective tissue like ligaments to be gradually replaced with bone, according to the National Institute of Health. 

Bone growth can be facilitated by something as small as a fall, and “any attempt to remove this unwanted bone leads to explosive growth of even more bone,” according to NIH. 

Because there is no cure for the disease, Ryder’s doctors can only make him comfortable and try to prevent and manage his symptoms, KFOR-TV reported.

People with the disease can live to be in their 40s, according to NIH.

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