Chilean granny carried calcified foetus for 50 years

Reuters / Eric Gaillard
A 92-year-old Chilean granny collapsed and was taken to hospital. Much to everybody's surprise, routine testing showed she hadn't broken anything, but had been carrying a mummified fetus for as long as five decades.

A hip X-ray revealed the fetus was about seven months developed, AFP reported. Doctors said the rare medical phenomenon, known as lithopedion (also called a "stone baby") did not cause the Chilean woman any pain. The granny checked out from hospital a few hours later, without any surgery performed.

Lithopedion may occur from 14 weeks gestation to full term, most commonly when a developing fetus dies during an abdominal pregnancy and then calcifies outside the uterus. The condition was first described in the 10th century, with fewer than 300 cases noted in 400 years of medical literature.

In 2013, an elderly Colombian woman, who complained to her doctor of pelvic pain, was told her suffering was due to a 40-year-old "stone baby", the Telegraph reported. The 82-year-old grandmother had no idea she had been carrying the fetus weighing about two kilos for nearly half a century.