Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Extremity Service,
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Background: This study addresses the null hypothesis that there is no expansion of heterotopic ossification (HO) in the elbow beyond what can be seen early on. Methods: The area of HO was measured on lateral radiographs of 38 consecutive patients that had operative treatment of HO between 2000 and 2013. Measurements from radiographs obtained between 3 to 7 weeks were compared to measurements from radiographs made 3 months or more after injury. Results: There was no significant difference between the average area of HO on the first (median 2.8 square centimeters, Q1: 1.5, Q3: 5.1) and later radiographs (median of 2.8 square centimeters, Q1: 1.4, Q3: 5.0) (P = 0.99). Discussion: According to our results the area of HO does not expand beyond what can be seen early in the disease process.