Heterotopic Bone Formation

About the condition

Heterotopic Ossification (HO) is a condition that involves the muscles becoming bruised and “ossifying” (turning into bone), which usually results in pain, and a significant loss of movement. HO sometimes occurs within 6 weeks of hip replacement surgery and can be a complication in up to 80% of patients.

If you are worried about developing HO following your hip replacement, or if your GP or consultant has raised any concerns, please ask your doctor to send a letter of referral to Dr John Glees or Richard Schaffer, at Cancer Centre London.


At CCL, rather than treating HO after it has occurred, we offer pre-operative radiotherapy treatments to patients about to undergo surgery which has a 90% success rate of completely preventing any HO after the operation.

HO prevention at CCL consists of two appointments:

  • A meeting with the consultant, who will explain the procedure and evaluate any available diagnostic scans or x-rays, before taking a special CT planning scan to assist in the calculation of radiotherapy dosage and location. At this time the radiographers will put a permanent reference mark on the skin, which is a tattoo mark the size of a freckle. All our radiotherapy calculations are done at this visit.
  • An appointment on the morning of the operation to administer the radiotherapy treatment, which takes just a few minutes.

Once treatment is complete, patients can proceed to hospital for their surgery. For the best possible result the operation should take place within 4-6 hours of the HO treatment.

Book now

If you have any questions about heterotopic ossification or would like to book an appointment with one of our heterotopic ossification specialists, complete this form online or call 020 8247 3351.


Cancer Centre London

Parkside Hospital

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