In New York, a man who complained of knee pain after a fall was diagnosed this month with ossification of the entire body of the penis. This is an extremely rare form of Peyronie's disease.
This (true) story probably reflects the nightmare of many men. This month, in the United States, doctors found total calcification all the way down the penis of a 63-year-old man who complained of knee pain after falling on a sidewalk. This is a very rare form of Peyronie's disease, explains the review Urology Case Report in an article to be published in September.
It all starts when the sexagenarian falls on the buttocks on the sidewalk this summer. Patients help him get up. If he manages to walk again, this fall triggers a throbbing pain in his left knee. The latter does not disappear, he decides to go to the emergency room of the Lincoln Hospital in New York. After listening to his story, the doctors perform a pelvic radio. They then discover with amazement that the entire body of the penis (composed of erectile bodies allowing erection) is being ossified.
"A simple X-ray X-ray showed penile ossification of the entire body of the penis that could be secondary to Lapeyronie's disease," the authors of the article write. In spite of this worrying diagnosis, the patient decides to leave the hospital and disappears in the nature, deplore the specialists. It is therefore impossible to give him further examinations, to perform a biopsy of the calcified mass or even to organize a medical follow-up.
"A medical history of alcoholism"
Calcification of the penis is one of the symptoms of Peyronie's disease, penile deformity that affects between 3.4% and 9% of men, mainly aged 55 to 65 years. In 20% of cases, ossifications form, resulting in a hardening of the penis that becomes like a bone. This sclerosis of the corpus cavernosum is thought to be related to the accumulation of calcium salts in the soft tissues or would result from a metaplastic process (transformation of a cellular tissue into another cellular tissue) caused by repeated trauma or a chronic inflammatory state.
While some studies show a connection to obesity, diabetes, tobacco or testosterone deficiency, the New York patient had "a medical history of alcoholism," doctors say.
But complete cases of ossification are extremely rare. Indeed, fewer than 40 such stories have been reported in the international medical literature. The first was told in 1827: ossification concerned the entire length of the body of the penis. In 1899, doctors then evoked the ossification of the cavernous bodies of a 55-year-old diabetic patient.
Different treatments possible depending on the extent of the harm
As for the treatment of ossification of the penis, it depends on the extent of penile ossification and the symptoms of the patient. Depending on the latter, he will be given creams, analgesics, shock wave therapy or injections into the lesions. In 2015, a new treatment named Xiapex was authorized in France. Directly injected into the forming plate where it dissolves collagen fibers, it shows promising results with a noticeable improvement in two-thirds of patients, according to the French Association of Urology.
In case of severe chronic pain or erectile dysfunction, the patient can be operated on: the surgeons remove the cavernous plates and insert a graft to compensate the hollow. Finally, doctors have recently placed an inflatable penile prosthesis to a patient. The latter had ossification of the penis that led to erectile dysfunction that was resistant to medication.