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Surgical treatment of elbow stiffness caused by post-traumatic heterotopic ossification.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2013 Aug;22(8):1128-34

Authors: Koh KH, Lim TK, Lee HI, Park MJ

BACKGROUND: Heterotopic ossification (HO) is considered as a common extrinsic cause of elbow stiffness. The purpose of this study was to show the results of surgical treatment for post-traumatic elbow stiffness caused by HO in a large, consecutive series of patients in a single unit.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 77 surgically treated patients with post-traumatic elbow stiffness caused by HO. Final motion arc and Mayo Elbow Performance Index (MEPI) were assessed as final results. Univariable and multivariable analyses were done to determine which factors had an effect on the final motion arc.

RESULTS: The average arc of elbow motion increased from 45° preoperatively to 112°, with an improvement of 67° at the final follow-up evaluation. The mean MEPI score was 91.9. At the final evaluation, 65 patients (84.4%) obtained a total motion arc of ≥100°. Recurrent HO was observed in 16 patients postoperatively, and 6 underwent repeated surgical release. The time from the initial injury to surgical release with a cutoff value of 19 months was the only independent factor affecting the final range of motion (ROM) in multivariable median regression analysis. With the numbers studied, no significant association was found between the final ROM and other clinical variables except for the recurrence of HO (93° vs 117°).
CONCLUSIONS: From the results of our study, we can support the surgical treatment of elbow stiffness caused by post-traumatic HO regardless of preoperative ROM. However, recurrence of heterotopic bone and delay in surgery of more than 19 months are associated with less favorable results.

PMID: 23796381 [PubMed - in process]