Woman, 37, can rotate her shoulder 180 degrees after her bones 'VANISH'

The 37-year-old sought medical help after experiencing difficulty using her left arm and pain in the shoulder for three months.

When she was examined, doctors found that she had a soft shoulder that could rotate 180 degrees from her chest to her back – twice the normal external rotation of 90 degrees.

X-rays revealed the humeral head – the round part of the bone that connects the arm to the shoulder – had vanished.

Her bones were reduced to a "small sliver".

Doctors at Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences in India tested her for infection, hormonal or metabolic problems, but they all came back clear.

An MRI confirmed her humerus, the long bone in the upper arm, was disappearing, according to the British Medical Journal case report.

Doctors then suspected neuropathy, or nerve problems in the area, but she was experiencing no symptoms.

Her lack of nerve symptoms and constant discomfort lead to her diagnosis of Gorham-Stout syndrome, an extremely rare disease that causes bones to disappear.

Doctors don't know what causes the condition and no genetic links for the disease have ever been discovered.

Those who have the condition also experience an abnormal growth of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, which can damage the bone and cause it to break down.

Since the woman had no physical disability she chose not to have surgery to correct her shoulder.

Due to the rareness of the disease there are no medications to treat it, so she was given shoulder strengthening exercise to do to in order the build-up muscle to support the joint.

After a two year follow up her condition hadn't worsened, so no further treatment was needed.

Gorham-Stout disease most commonly affects the ribs, spine, pelvis, skull, collarbone and jaw.

Some people may experience rapid pain and swelling in the area while others experience a dull ache and weakness that gets worse over time.

Treatment usually focuses on managing an individuals' symptoms.

Some patients may need bone grafts to help repair their bones and in other cases areas of affected bone may be surgically removed.


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