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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1991 Feb;(263):71-7.

Experience with surgical resection of heterotopic bone in spinal cord injury patients.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


Extensive heterotopic ossification may occur after a spinal cord injury. Surgical removal of the heterotopic bone is considered only in patients who develop limitations of function or related skin pressure areas. In a prospective study of 21 patients, a total of 43 surgical procedures were performed to resect heterotopic bone. Long-term follow-up study was available for 18 patients who had 38 surgical procedures. This was a descriptive study since preoperative, surgical, and postoperative care varied slightly over time and were dependent on newer advances in surgical techniques and therapeutic agents. Primary complications included excessive bleeding, infection, fractures, and recurrence of the heterotopic ossification. Procedures are outlined that may reduce the incidence of postoperative infection. Fractures are related to the degree of regional osteoporosis. Recurrence is still a common problem, and any or all therapeutic agents that may reduce the extent of postoperative recurrence should be considered before surgical excision is planned.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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