Heterotopic Ossification Following Upper Extremity Injury

Hand Clin. 2017 May;33(2):363-373. doi: 10.1016/j.hcl.2016.12.013.


Heterotopic ossification (HO) presents a substantial barrier to rehabilitation for patients with severe burns or trauma. Although surgical excision is a mainstay of management for this condition, this is unable to address the chronic sequelae of HO, including chronic pain, joint contractures, nerve dysfunction, and open wounds. Current therapeutic modalities are aimed at excision and the prevention of recurrence using nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or radiation therapy. Research is now focused on identifying alternative strategies to prevent the initial occurrence of HO through NSAIDs and novel inhibitors of the bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathway.

Keywords: Burn injury; Elbow; Heterotopic ossification; Upper extremity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm Injuries / complications*
  • Burns / complications*
  • Contracture / complications
  • Elbow Joint
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / complications
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / etiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular