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Heterotopic Ossification After Primary Total Ankle Arthroplasty
Keun-Bae Lee, MD, PhD1; Yong-Jin Cho, MD1; Ju-Kwon Park, MD1; Eun-Kyoo Song, MD, PhD1; Taek-Rim Yoon, MD, PhD1; Jong-Keun Seon, MD, PhD1
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School and Hospital, 8 Hakdong, Donggu, Gwangju, 501-757, South Korea. E-mail address for K.-B. Lee: kbleeos@chonnam.ac.kr
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Disclosure: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity.

Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School and Hospital, Gwangju, South Korea

Copyright © 2011 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2011 Apr 20;93(8):751-758. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.00178
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Heterotopic ossification following lower-limb joint arthroplasty is a challenging clinical problem. No comprehensive study has been conducted on heterotopic ossification after total ankle arthroplasty, to our knowledge. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and location of heterotopic ossification after primary total ankle arthroplasty, predisposing factors, and effects on clinical outcomes, and to develop a method of classification.


Eighty ankles in eighty patients with a primary total ankle arthroplasty were followed for a mean (and standard deviation) of 31.9 ± 11.3 months (range, twenty-four to sixty-five months). The prevalence and location of heterotopic ossification, predisposing factors, and outcomes were analyzed, and a method of classification was developed.


Twenty (25%) of the eighty ankles demonstrated postoperative heterotopic ossification, with the majority of the cases in the posterior aspect of the ankle. The heterotopic ossification was Class I in four cases (20%); Class II, in five (25%); Class III, in four (20%); and Class IV, in seven (35%). Symptomatic heterotopic ossification was reported in eight patients (10%), and two required surgical resection because of intractable pain. Ankles that developed heterotopic ossification had significantly longer operative times, less postoperative motion, and lower American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot scores at the six, twelve, and twenty-four-month follow-up examinations (p < 0.05 for all).


This study demonstrates that the prevalence of heterotopic ossification following primary total ankle arthroplasty is considerable, and that heterotopic ossification is associated with reduced ankle motion and a poor clinical outcome at a mean of two years postoperatively. Care is needed to attempt to reduce the occurrence of heterotopic ossification.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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