Multifactorial Refractory Heterotopic Ossification

Andrew J.L. Gear, Claire Buckley, Fred Kaplan, Alan Vanbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Ectopic bone formation or "heterotopic ossification" can follow surgery, trauma, or neurologic injury, but the process is usually self-limited, localized to the site of injury, and responds to surgical treatment when necessary. Aggressive, systemic forms of heterotopic ossification exist that generate lesions that often resist surgical treatment and produce a high rate of recurrence. These entities typically manifest during infancy as genetic syndromes such as fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva or progressive osseous heteroplasia. The authors describe a case of aggressive, systemic heterotopic ossification in an adult that followed a motor vehicle accident and multiple surgeries. The patient developed a large nonhealing wound around a focus of ectopic bone. Skin grafts failed as a result of the recurrence of ectopic bone, and the patient eventually required aggressive debridement and delayed rotational flap closure. A brief review of the clinical features and surgical treatment of heterotopic ossification is outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


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