Operative treatment of heterotopic hip ossification in patients with coma after brain injury

Ernesto Ippolito, Rita Formisano, Roberta Caterini, Pasquale Farsetti, Francesca Penta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 13 joints of 12 patients who sustained traumatic brain injury, heterotopic ossifications of the hip were surgically excised at an average of 15 months after the patients' recovery from coma. All of the patients were referred by neurologists of the postcoma unit who deemed surgery necessary to speed up the rehabilitation program of the patients. Before surgery, three patients were able to ambulate, whereas nine were not ambulatory. Eight hips were ankylosed, whereas five had a severe painful limitation of joint motion. All of the patients were checked at regular intervals after the operation, and the final followup averaged 38 months. In an attempt to prevent postoperative recurrence of ossification, 100 mg of indomethacin was administered daily after surgery for 6 weeks. At followup, 10 patients could ambulate, and two were able to sit in a wheelchair. Patients with poor neuromuscular control tended to lose part of their postoperative range of motion, and heterotopic periarticular ossification recurred in two of them (three hips). No correlation was found between recurrence and the time that elapsed from head injury to the operation, but old ossifications continued to show osteogenic activity at the histologic level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number365
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Operative treatment of heterotopic hip ossification in patients with coma after brain injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this