Publication Date

Spring 4-24-2012


College of Arts and Sciences


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Mathematics

Primary Subject Area

Biology, Anatomy; Biology, Cell; Biology, Physiology; Chemistry, Biochemistry


heterotopic ossification, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, progressive osseous heteroplasia, bone calcification, symptoms, treatment, surgery, traumatic injury


Biochemistry | Genetics | Molecular Biology | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms


Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the process by which calcified bone develops in soft tissues. Because of the abnormal calcification, complications such as bone deformation, loss of range of motion, and joint immobility adversely affect patients. There are many genetic types of heterotopic ossification, namely fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, progressive osseous heteroplasia, and Albright hereditary osteodystrophy. However, this condition can also arise from surgery, burns, or traumatic injuries, so it is seen as an important area for research in the future. There are various treatments available such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and radiation therapy, as well as combinations of the two. The molecular basis of HO is currently being explored in hopes of developing drugs that prevent the development of heterotopic bone. Additionally, new methods of treatment that offer fewer side effects may be promising for patients in the future.