Heterotopic ossification and peripheral nerve entrapment: Early diagnosis and excision

Marvin M. Brooke, David L. Heard, Barbara J. de Lateur, David A. Moeller, Al D. Alquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heterotopic ossification can occur in neurologic disorders, burns, musculoskeletal trauma, and metabolic disorders. In addition to producing the complications of contracture, skin breakdown, and pain, it can cause peripheral nerve entrapment. Nerve entrapment due to heterotopic ossification may be misdiagnosed, and it is difficult to evaluate and treat without recurrence. Computed tomography is especially useful in localization before surgical release of the entrapped nerve. Resection of heterotopic ossification can be successful using disodium etidronate to decrease the risk of recurrence, and resection can improve range of motion and nerve function. Two case studies of nerve entrapment due to heterotopic ossification are presented with the results of computed tomography localization, successful resection, and long-term follow-up. Clinicians should be aware of this complication and the potential for rapid nerve injury. If heterotopic ossification is causing clinically significant peripheral nerve entrapment, early surgical treatment may be indicated, and may be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Heterotopic
  • Nerve compression syndromes
  • Ossification
  • Tomography, x-ray computed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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