General: There are many complications associated with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) because the condition leads to progressive loss of mobility as more and more parts of the body become affected. Frequent illnesses or trauma to the body may speed up the disease progression.
Breathing problems: If extra bone replaces the tissues over the rib cage, the patient may not be able to expand their lungs normally. As a result, breathing may be difficult.
Difficulty speaking or eating: If extra bone develops in the jaw joints, a person may have difficulty speaking or eating. In some cases, difficulty eating may lead to malnutrition.
Limited mobility: As bone replaces muscles and connective tissues, the person with FOP typically experience limited mobility in the affected parts of their bodies. As a result day-to-day activities such as walking and getting dressed, may be challenging. Most FOP patients are bedridden by the time they reach 30 years of age.
Skin sores: People with FOP especially adults often develop pressure sores on their skin. Sore and broken skin may develop if extra bone puts pressure on the skin. Therefore, people with FOP should wear protective padding over bony bumps on their bodies and they are encouraged to change sitting positions frequently. People who sit for many hours during the day are encouraged to use well-padded seat cushions.
Skin sores may also develop if the skin becomes moist or sweaty in difficult-to-reach areas. Because people with FOP often have limited mobility of their joints, they may be unable to properly clean the skin. As a result, bacterial or fungal infections may develop on the skin.
Complications vary among patients with FOP, depending on which part of the body is affected.