Heterotopic ossification (HO) following amputation, musculoskeletal injuries, burns, deep surgeries, and trauma severely debilitates patients by restricting range of motion and causing pain. Burn injuries cost over $500 million annually and hip replacements cost over $5 billion dollars. Beyond these initial expenses, HO leads to hospital admissions and secondary operations incurring significant costs. Insights from related hyper-proliferative disorders such as fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and explorations down associated pathways have uncovered agents in HO pathways.
As burn and general reconstructive surgeons, we see and treat the problems of heterotopic ossification first-hand and believe current diagnostic and treatment strategies are inadequate. We hope that the research we perform will allow us to improve treatment of burn and trauma induced heterotopic ossification. Furthermore, we hope to be able to translate these findings to other causes of heterotopic ossification such as fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive, progressive osseous hyperplasia and spinal cord injury induced disease.