Background: Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a debilitating complication of burn injury; however, incidence and risk factors are poorly understood. In this study, we use a multicenter database of adults with burn injuries to identify and analyze clinical factors that predict HO formation.
Methods: Data from six high-volume burn centers, in the Burn Injury Model System Database, were analyzed. Univariate logistic regression models were used for model selection. Cluster-adjusted multivariate logistic regression was then used to evaluate the relationship between clinical and demographic data and the development of HO.
Results: Of 2,979 patients in the database with information on HO that addressed risk factors for development of HO, 98 (3.5%) developed HO. Of these 98 patients, 97 had arm burns, and 96 had arm grafts. When controlling for age and sex in a multivariate model, patients with greater than 30% total body surface area burn had 11.5 times higher odds of developing HO (p < 0.001), and those with arm burns that required skin grafting had 96.4 times higher odds of developing HO (p = 0.04). For each additional time a patient went to the operating room, odds of HO increased by 30% (odds ratio, 1.32; p < 0.001), and each additional ventilator day increased odds by 3.5% (odds ratio, 1.035; p < 0.001). Joint contracture, inhalation injury, and bone exposure did not significantly increase odds of HO.
Conclusion: Risk factors for HO development include greater than 30% total body surface area burn, arm burns, arm grafts, ventilator days, and number of trips to the operating room. Future studies can use these results to identify highest-risk patients to guide deployment of prophylactic and experimental treatments.
Level of evidence: Prognostic study, level III.