Heterotopic Ossification

(HO)

Definition

Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the growth of bone in abnormal places like soft tissue. It can occur anywhere in the body. The hip, knees, shoulders and elbows are the most common locations. This condition can vary from minor to heavy growth.Treatment involves physical therapy, medications, and in some cases, surgery.

Causes

The exact cause of HO is unknown. There may be a genetic link to the development of this condition.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of developing HO include:
  • Traumatic brain injury or stroke
  • Recent spinal cord injury, especially within the past 1-4 months
  • Hip surgery or other joint surgery
  • Burns
  • Long period of immobility
  • Joint infection
  • Trauma to muscle or soft tissue

Symptoms

Symptoms vary based on the severity and site of the bone growth. HO may cause:
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Swelling or redness to joint(s)
  • Pain
  • Fever

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist. An orthopedic doctor focuses solely on problems of the bones and joints.Tests may include the following:
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Bone scan
  • X-ray —may only be able to detect abnormal bone in later phases of the disease
X-ray of Pelvic Repair
repiared pelvis x-ray
HO may not show up on x-ray until later stages.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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