Treatment of heterotopic ossification after spinal cord injury

Kresimir Banovac, Fidel Gonzalez, Kevin J. Renfree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A new protocol in management of heterotopic ossification (HO) was evaluated in 46 patients after spinal cord injury (SCI). A group of 24 paraplegic and 22 tetraplegic patients was involved in a prospective study. Diagnosis of HO was made by bone scintigraphy and radiographic evaluation. Patients were divided into two groups. Group I was made up of 33 patients with positive bone scintigraphy and negative evidence of HO and Group II was made up of 13 patients with positive bone scintigraphy and positive radiographic evidence of HO. Etidronate was started intravenously (300 mg/day) for three days followed by oral therapy for six months (20 mg/kg/day). Follow-up of patients was 15.7±8 months after SCI. In Group I, etidronate therapy prevented the development of HO in 79 percent of patients; in 21 percent of patients, a low degree of tissue ossification was found which was not clinically significant. In Group II, there was an inhibitory effect of etidronate on progression of soft tissue ossification in six patients. The remaining seven patients did not respond to therapy and showed an increased growth of HO. Our data indicate that etidronate may prevent HO in the majority of patients when administered at an early stage of HO development and in higher doses than are routinely recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


  • Etidronate
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of heterotopic ossification after spinal cord injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this