This Man’s Penis Is Literally Turning Into Bone, a New Case Report Finds

This Man's Penis Is Literally Turning Into Bone, a New Case Report Finds
  • After a 63-year-old man went to a hospital for pain after falling, doctors found that he may have been dealing with penile ossification, meaning his penis was turning into bone.
  • Penile ossification is rare, but may be linked to Peyronie's disease.
  • Urologists explain potential symptoms to look out for, as well as what treatment may look like in this type of situation.

Case reports are known for recounting some intense medical situations that doctors don't see every day—and the latest one attracting some buzz online is, well, pretty jaw-dropping.

A new report published in Urology Case Reports tells of how a 63-year-old man went to a hospital with knee pain after falling on the street. The man landed on his butt when he fell and experienced some penile pain, so doctors ordered an X-ray of his pelvis to see if he had broken anything.

The X-ray results showed something unusual. "An extensive, plaque-like calcification along the expected distribution of the penis was evident," the report said.

Doctors suspected that the man had penile ossification "along the entire penile shaft," which means his penis was turning into bone. They wanted to run more tests but the man left the hospital against doctors' orders. "No laboratory investigation, histological examination, or follow-up was done," the report says.

Wait, what is penile ossification?

man's penis turning into bone

Urology Case Reports

Penile ossification happens when calcium salts build up in the soft tissue of the penis over time, forming bone. It's usually linked to a disorder called Peyronie's disease, a penis problem caused by scar tissue (called plaque) that forms inside the penis, says Lawrence Jenkins, MD, a men's health expert and urologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. That can cause a man to have an erection that appears bent, rather than straight.

Penile ossification could also potentially happen after an injury to the penis that leads to "abnormal healing," Dr. Jenkins says.

How common is penile ossification?

For the record, penile ossification is really rare: The case report says there have been less than 40 published cases of it happening in humans. However, David Kaufman, MD, director of Central Park Urology, a division of Maiden Lane Medical, points out that it's more common in walruses.

Peyronie's disease is a little more common than penile ossification. According to data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Peyronie's disease might impact anywhere from one to 23 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70.

Are there any symptoms to look out for?

Given how rare penile ossification is, it's kind of hard to hammer out a set list of symptoms other than pain in the pelvic region. But Dr. Jenkins says that men with Peyronie's disease might have the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal hardening of the tissue below the skin in one area along the shaft of the penis
  • A bend in the penis, usually at the area where you feel scar tissue or hardening
  • Narrowing of penis
  • Problems with penetration or pain during intercourse
  • Shortening of penis

So, how is this treated?

It really depends on how bad the ossification is, the case report says. People who don't have symptoms will be monitored, while those who have acute or chronic pain can be given pain medication, undergo mechanical stretching, use vacuuming devices, or have shockwave therapy.

If Peyronie's disease is the cause, Dr. Jenkins says a patient may have corticosteroid injections, oral medication, radiation therapy, high-energy sound wave therapy to break up the fibrous band of tissue, or vitamin E. "If the condition progresses to the point where intercourse is not possible, surgery may be done to correct the problem," Dr. Jenkins says.


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Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men's Health, Women's Health, Self, Glamour, and more.

This Man's Penis Is Literally Turning Into Bone, a New Case Report Finds, Source:https://www.prevention.com/health/a28687558/mans-penis-turning-into-bone-case-report/

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