Heterotopic Ossification



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.


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 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


You will be asked 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.Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
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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