Excision of Heterotopic Ossification

Heterotopic ossification is the abnormal formation of bone within the soft tissues. It may occur in the tissues surrounding the hip joint following a groin or hip injury or previous surgery to the hip.

Heterotopic ossification may present as islands of bone within the soft tissues or bony overgrowths from the thigh and pelvic bones. It can be painful and cause limping. There may be decreased range of motion, warmth, redness and swelling of the affected hip. When excessive, it can cause rigidity of the joint. Although this condition cannot be cured, surgical excision of the heterotopic ossification may be recommended to check its progress, alleviate pain and improve posture and mobility.

Your doctor will review your history and examine the range of motion of the hip. Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT or MRI are performed to visualize the hip joint and plan surgery. The surgery is carried out under general or regional anesthesia. Small incisions are made over the hip and portals introduced to access the region of heterotopic ossification as identified by imaging. Surgery is performed with the help of an arthroscope and special surgical instruments. All or part of the heterotopic ossification is removed as necessary. Following surgery, you will begin passive range of motion exercises and treatments such as low-dose radiation therapy or certain medications to prevent recurrence.

As with any surgery, excision of heterotopic ossification may be associated with certain risks such as infection, delayed healing, bleeding and recurrence.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • The Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • http://www.sportsmed.org/