The Grapevine

Man Shocks Doctors With Penis Turning Into Bone

Doctors at a New York emergency department were left surprised after a man left the results of his X-ray. It appeared that his penis has been turning into a bone.

The 63-year-old man went to the hospital to have his left knee checked because of a potential injury. Doctors required an X-ray to see signs of bone fracture.

However, results surprised them because the man’s penis appeared in the radiograph with a bone-like growth. The man was later diagnosed with penile ossification, ScienceAlert reported Wednesday.

It is a rare condition that has only been reported in less than 40 cases since 1827. Penile ossification commonly occurs because of Peyronie's disease, which causes formation of fibrous scar tissue within the penis.

Trauma, end stage kidney disease or other conditions that increase calcium in the body can also cause the penile ossification. In the latest case in New York, the man’s penis appeared with calcium salts buildup that hardened into "an extensive plaque" along his entire penile shaft. 

Doctors said the man did not show any symptoms of the condition. Penile ossification commonly causes a discharge or swelling and could lead to reduced flexibility or erectile dysfunction.

The man left the hospital after being diagnosed with the condition. Doctors said they recommended further tests to understand his case. 

The man’s case was reported in the journal Urology Case Reports.

"The treatment of penile ossification depends on the extent of corporal ossification and the symptoms of the patient," Georges El Hasbani, from American University of Beirut, said in the paper. "Those with a bothersome acute pain or chronic mild pain may be managed with oral analgesics, topical agents, intralesional injections, mechanical stretching or vacuum devices, and extracorporeal shockwave therapy.” 

However, severe conditions that lead to chronic pain or erectile dysfunction may require surgery, El Hasbani added. 

"The human body is able to form bone tissue or cartilage in places affected by pathological conditions when connective tissue is present," according to a 2013 study. "Bone tissue is known to originate even in places having nothing in common with the skeleton, including the mammary gland, salivary gland and the testes."

To date, penile ossification is more common in dogs than in humans. 

Man A man holds his crotch. Pixabay