Post-traumatic ossifications of the rectus femoris: Arthroscopic treatment and clinical outcome after 2 years

Injury. 2018 Nov;49 Suppl 3:S100-S104. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2018.09.062.


Injuries of the rectus femoris tendon origin could result in a chronic tendinopathy, leading to groin pain and loss of function. Conservative treatment with analgesics and physical therapy is the gold standard, but in some cases excessive bone formation after avulsion injuries, can lead to a post-traumatic heterotopic ossification (PHO) and may benefit from surgical removal.

Methods: Outcome was evaluated in 16 top soccer players (age 24-43 years) affected by calcification of the proximal rectus who underwent arthroscopic excision (6-12 and 24 months). X-ray and 3D CT was collected for all patients. Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, Oxford Hip Score, Modified Harris Hip Score, together with visual analog scales (VAS) for pain, sport activity level (SAL), and activities of daily living (ADL) were used to evaluate clinical outcome. TECHNICAL PROCEDURE: after central compartment examination and treatment was accomplished, attention was focused to the ossification of the rectus femoris. A complete exposure of the ossification was achieved; when possible attention was taken in detaching the minimum amount of fibers of the direct head of the rectus femoris from its insertion site. During the entire procedure, both dynamic direct visualization and fluoroscopic evaluation of the amount of resection were performed.

Results: Clinical outcome was excellent; the percentage of return to pre-injury level sport was 68.75 % (11 athletes), with significant statistical improvement of MHHS, OHS and all 3 VAS subscales in all patients at 2 years follow-up.

Conclusion: Arthroscopic removal using conventional hip arthroscopic portals represent both effective and safe procedure to adequately treat post-traumatic ossification of the rectus femoris.

Keywords: arthroscopy; groin pain; hip; rectus femoris; sport-injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Cartilage, Articular / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quadriceps Muscle / injuries*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / surgery
  • Return to Sport
  • Soccer
  • Treatment Outcome