Surgical excision of symptomatic mature posttraumatic myositis ossificans: characteristics and outcomes in 32 athletes.

Orava S1, Sinikumpu JJ2,3,4, Sarimo J1, Lempainen L1, Mann G5, Hetsroni I6.

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1 Sports Injury Research Center, Hospital NEO, Turku, Finland.
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery and Orthopedics, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.
3 Pedego Research Group, MRC, Oulu University, Oulu, Finland.
4 Mehiläinen Sports Clinic, Oulu, Finland.
5 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Meir General Hospital, Kfar Saba, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
6 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Meir General Hospital, Kfar Saba, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



The purpose of this study was to report characteristics and outcomes of surgical excision of symptomatic mature posttraumatic myositis ossificans in adult athletes. The hypothesis was that surgical excision of the ossified mass in these circumstances can effectively relief symptoms and result in return to high-level sports with minimal postoperative complications.


All operations involving excision of posttraumatic heterotopic ossifications performed between 1987 and 2015 were reviewed. Included cases had isolated excision of posttraumatic myositis ossificans, whereas excluded cases had: (1) concomitant reattachment of tendon to bone; (2) chronic overuse injuries which preceded the development of the heterotopic mass or large calcifications which were excised from tendon-to-bone insertions; and (3) excision of heterotopic ossification from a ligament, capsule, or tendon insertion following avulsion injury without tendon-to-bone repair. After surgery, return to sports was allowed at 4-6 weeks.


Of 57 athletes undergoing excision of heterotopic ossifications, 32 were eligible as isolated excision of posttraumatic myositis ossificans. Twenty-four (75%) were ice hockey or soccer players. Median age was 23 years. Prior to surgery, patients were unable to continue their sports. At surgery, the ossification was excised from a thigh muscle in 27 (84%) cases. Median follow-up was 2 years (range 1-20 years). Outcome was Good/Excellent in 26 (81%) patients, corresponding to return to preinjury sports with minimal symptoms at sports activities. Preinjury Tegner activity level was resumed after surgery in 30 of 32 (94%) athletes, of whom 28 (94%) were involved in high-level sports corresponding to Tegner levels 8-10. No postoperative complications were recorded other than minimal insensitive areas at the periphery of skin incisions.


In high-level athletes who present chronic disabling mature posttraumatic myositis ossificans that interferes with their sports career, surgical excision of the heterotopic mass results in effective clinical improvement with return to sports and minimal postoperative risks.


Case series, Level IV.


Ice hockey; Indomethacin; Myositis ossificans; Surgical excision; Tegner scalePMID: 28780628 DOI: 10.1007/s00167-017-4667-7

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