Purpose: Heterotopic ossification is a common complication after total hip arthroplasty. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known to prevent heterotopic ossifications effectively, however gastrointestinal complaints are reported frequently. In this study, we investigated whether etoricoxib, a selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor that produces fewer gastrointestinal side effects, is an effective alternative for the prevention of heterotopic ossification. Methods: We investigated the effectiveness of oral etoricoxib 90 mg for seven days in a prospective two-stage study design for phase-2 clinical trials in a small sample of patients (n = 42). A cemented primary total hip arthroplasty was implanted for osteoarthritis. Six months after surgery, heterotopic ossification was determined on anteroposterior pelvic radiographs using the Brooker classification. Results: No heterotopic ossification was found in 62 % of the patients that took etoricoxib; 31 % of the patients had Brooker grade 1 and 7 % Brooker grade 2 ossification. Conclusions: Etoricoxib seems effective in preventing heterotopic ossification after total hip arthroplasty. This finding further supports the use of COX-2 inhibitors for the prevention of heterotopic ossification following total hip arthroplasty.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding The study was supported in part by a research grant from the Investigator-Initiated Studies Program of Merck & Co., Inc. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Merck & Co., Inc.