Risk factors of heterotopic ossification in traumatic spinal cord injury

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2009 Jun;67(2B):382-7. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2009000300002.


Objective: Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a complication of the spinal cord injury (SCI). It can result in anchylosis, harming the rehabilitation and quality of life. Previous publications had not elucidated the relation between possible independent variables, the aim of this study.

Method: From 230 patients with SCI, admitted in 1998 at Hospital SARAH Brasilia, 33 with HO (14.3%; CI95% 10.1-19.6) were compared with 33 controls. The risk factors had been tested in bivariate analysis and in a model of logistic regression.

Results: Spasticity (odds ratio=3.8; CI95% 1.15-12.30), number of pressure ulcers (2.1; CI95% 1.08-3.89) and time lapsed since the injury (1.1; CI95% 1.02-1.24) were independently associated with HO. There was a confounder effect among these variables, without interaction.

Conclusion: Spasticity, pressure ulcer and time of injury are associated with HO in spinal cord injury. The first two factors can be prevented and treatable.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Hip Joint
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity / complications
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / etiology*
  • Pressure Ulcer / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Time Factors