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Heterotopic Ossification in Patients with Burns: a Systematic Literature Review


Purpose of Review

The aim of this literature review is to review and join case studies and reports of heterotopic ossification development in patients sustaining burn injuries.

Recent Findings

The authors conducted a systematic literature search in PubMed, Cochrane library, EMBASE, and Scopus and reviewed cases from 1961 to 2020 of heterotopic ossification development in patients after burn injuries; the search included only publication in the English language.

The authors found 37 publications of heterotopic ossification in patients sustaining burn injuries, reporting a total of 530 cases, from 1961 to 2020.

The average total body surface affected (TBSA) by burns of patients in this review ranged from 8 to 95%, with an average TBSA of 43.4%. Two hundred and fifty-four patients (93.4%) suffered burns from thermal origin and 18 patients (6.6%) suffered from burns of high-voltage electrical burns.

Six hundred and fifty-four joints were reported to develop heterotopic ossification. The most commonly affected joint was the elbow (503/654), followed by the shoulder (37/654), knee (27/654), and hip (21/654).

Surgical procedures were performed in 245 patients, with an average pre-operative and post-operative joint range of motion (ROM) of 22.1° (range 0–105°) and 80.6° (range 0–160°), respectively.


Heterotopic ossification is a condition impairing joint function and range of movement, developing in patients sustaining severe burn injuries. Better understanding of the pathogenesis and contributing factors are crucial for providing proper treatment and restoring range of motion in affected patient joints.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Correspondence to Ron Skorochod.

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Skorochod, R., Nesher, G. & Gronovich, Y. Heterotopic Ossification in Patients with Burns: a Systematic Literature Review. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep (2022).

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  • Burns
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Plastic surgery