Myositis ossificans traumatica, although it is one of a number of heterotopic bone formation entities, is a specific lesion with a clearly recognized etiology and natural evolutionary pattern. Early conservative treatment with rest, elevation, and immobilization minimizes additional trauma and decreases the likelihood of incapacitating bone formation. Subsequently, active range of motion exercises progressing to resistive exercises usually effect a satisfactory recovery and return to full athletic participation. With this treatment regimen, few athletes will be left with significant functional impairment. However, surgery does have a definite role in the treatment of this condition and is indicated in those athletes who develop a large mass of mature lamellar bone which is painful and is associated with muscle weakness and a significant loss of joint motion. Four patients are presented in which surgery resulted in satisfactory recovery and return to full participation in football.