fibro-, fibr-, fiber- +

(Latin: fiber [an elongated, threadlike structure]; a combining form denoting a relationship to fibers)

Cells that are distributed widely throughout connective tissue which produce the precursor substances of collagen, the elastic fibers and reticular (network) fibers.
fibrocartilage (s) (noun)
A kind of cartilage (connective tissue) with a fibrous matrix and approaching fibrous connective tissue in structure: "Fibrocartilage is one of three types of connective tissue that joins involved bones and which has the greatest tensile (stretchable) strength."
fibrocartilaginous (adjective)
Relating to or composed of cartilage (a firm, elastic, flexible type of connective tissue of a translucent whitish or yellowish color; also known as gristle) that contains numerous thick bundles of collagen (protein) fibers: "Fibrocartilaginous disks between the vertebrae help to cushion the sudden movements which the vertebral column is continually being subjected to."
An abnormal development of fibrous tissue.
fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, FOP
1. A rare genetic condition which causes muscles and other connective tissue to turn into bone, eventually causing immobility as the FOP bone fuses bodily joints.
2. A mutation of the body's repair mechanism causes fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to be ossified (turned into bone) when damaged.

In many cases they can cause joints to become permanently "frozen in place". The growths cannot be removed with surgery because such action causes the body to "repair" the area of surgery with more bone.

During years of development, as more bone grows and the patient loses mobility in more and more joints, it often becomes impossible for him or her to reach out, walk, eat, or even breathe.

The disease is usually fatal as the excessive bone structures crush the internal organs. People with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva usually lose all mobility by the age of 30 and die by the age of 40 and there still is no known cure.

FOP disease was so rare, no one wanted to deal with it

Dr. Fred Kaplan can't stop thinking about his kids. Daytime, nighttime, weekends. Their pictures cover his office walls; their smiles line the hallway of his lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

  • Their letters ("Your the best Dr. in the howl wild wirld") hang next to his desk, displayed more proudly than any medical degree or award.
  • Kaplan's kids are his patients, children with a rare and immobilizing disease called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.
  • The first time he saw a child with FOP, says Kaplan, "it had the emotional impact of an atom bomb."
  • FOP, which strikes roughly one in two million people worldwide, causes muscle and tendon to morph into hardened bone, imprisoning children in a second skeleton.
  • The horror of the disorder—shoulders, hips and jaws fuse into locked positions—propels Kaplan's scientific mission.
  • The children, whose average life span is 45, drive his devotion.
  • Kaplan, 54, has spent more than 15 years unraveling the molecular and genetic blueprints of FOP.
  • Early on, his colleagues told him he was wasting his time on a disease that afflicts fewer than 300 people in the United States, but Kaplan powered on.
  • "It was a compelling problem screaming for a solution," Dr. Kaplan said, and nobody else was helping to solve the problem.

  • In April, 2006, Kaplan, along with his colleague Dr. Eileen Shore, his team at the University of Pennsylvania and international collaborators, found the key to the cause: they pinpointed a single gene mutation—one letter out of six billion in the human genome—that causes the runaway bone growth of FOP.
  • Uncovering the "master key to the skeleton," as Kaplan calls it, could have dramatic implications.
  • With a genetic target in hand, scientists may be able to design a drug that turns off the bone-growth switch in FOP.
  • The discovery could also have an impact well beyond FOP, stopping the complication of extra bone growth after hip replacements or spinal-cord injuries.
  • One day, says Kaplan, the skeleton key might even allow researchers to grow bone in a controlled way, helping people who suffer from osteoporosis or fractures that fail to heal.
  • A rare disease? Yes, but as Kaplan suspected from the very beginning, one with universal applications.
  • As of now, there is no cure for FOP, no way to stop the explosion of new bone, which is exacerbated by falls, bruises, injections, and surgery.
  • Even today, few doctors know about the disease—close to 90 percent of patients are initially given incorrect diagnoses, including cancer.
  • Medical help for FOP comes at no cost—Kaplan has never charged an FOP patient.
  • "I find it unconscionable," he says. "Who else are they going to turn to?"
  • Kaplan's salary comes from the university and an endowed chair; the majority of his research dollars are raised by FOP families at barbecues, golf tournaments, and garage sales.
  • Last year's total: $1.2 million.
  • Kaplan says he won't quit until there's an effective treatment and a cure.
—Excerpts from "The Genius, Frederick Kaplan, University of Pennsylvania" by Claudia Kalb;
Newsweek Society; September 22, 2006; page 13.
1. Containing or resembling fibers.
2. Resembling or forming fibrous tissue; made up of fibers; as, fibroid tumors.

Fibroid, or fibromyoma, is the most common form of tumor of the uterus, and one of the most common tumors of the human body.

It is composed of a mixture of muscular and fibrous tissue. The tumor may be small or as large as a grapefruit.

Fibroids may cause pain and heavy menstrual bleeding and usually occur in women over 30 years of age. In some women, the fibroid may be small enough to be removed surgically but, if it is large, a hysterectomy is often necessary.

Small, symptomless (having no symptoms of illness or disease) fibroids are not considered to be dangerous and usually can be left untreated.

The surgical removal of a fibroid tumor.

An older term for certain fibromas and leiomyomas.

Fibromas are benign (non-cancerous) tumors which consist of fibrous tissues or connective tissue.

Although most connective tissue has fibrillar elements, the term usually refers to tissue laid down at a wound site well vascularised at first (granulation tissue) but later avascular and dominated by collagen rich extracellular matrix, forming a scar.

Excessive contraction and hyperplasia leads to formation of a keloid which is described as a sharply elevated, irregularly shaped, progressively enlarging scar resulting from the formation of excessive amounts of collagen in the corium during connective tissue repair.

Leiomyomas are described as benign uterine tumors which are also referred to as uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids can cause pelvic pain and irregular vaginal bleeding in some females.

fibrolipoma, fibrolipomatous
Lipoma containing an excess of fibrous tissue.
fibroma, fibromatous
A fibrous, encapsulated connective tissue tumor.

It is irregular in shape, slow in growth, and has a firm consistency. pressure or cysteic degeneration may cause pain.

Sometimes it occurs in the periosteum (dense fibrous membrane covering the surface of bones, except at their extremities). It may affect the jaws, occiput (back part of the head or skull), pelvis, vertebrae, ribs, long bones, or sternum

Removal of a fibroma or a fibroid tumor (a benign or non-cancerous tumor which consists of connective tissue).
Consisting of muscle and connective tissue.
A syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation.

Fibromyalgia does not cause body damage or deformity; however, undue fatigue plagues the large majority of patients with fibromyalgia and sleep disorders are common.

It is considered an arthritis-related condition; but,it is not a form of arthritis (a disease of the joints) since it does not cause inflammation in the joints, muscles, or other tissues or damage them.

Fibromyalgia can (like arthritis) cause significant pain and fatigue and it can similarly interfere with a person's ability to carry on daily activities.

fibromyalgia syndrome
These vary, with pain and fatigue generally prominent, sometimes causing considerable disability.

Patients can usually dress and wash independently, but they can not cope with a job or household activities.

Patients generally score highly on measures of anxiety and depression.

Excision of a fibromyoma (benign uterine tumor also referred to as a uterine fibroid or the smooth muscle tumors of the uterus).
1. A fibrous tissue myoma (benign tumor composed of muscle tissue).
2. A fibroid tumor of the uterus that contains more fibrous than muscle tissue.