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Thread: H-o ??

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Baltimore MD

    H-o ??

    I did a search for HO and came up with nada, so I'm asking about it.
    All I know is that it is some form of bone calcification that sometimes occurs with SCI immobility. He's stuck in bed or a wheelchair alla time.
    Adam says they did films on him and he's got it.
    Thats why his leg burns so much.
    Its in the hip area, but he says the pain is in the leg/groin.
    Painful when doing stretching when in O/T- P/T. (never can get it straight about which one). Pain lying in bed. Pain sitting in the chair.
    He says medication and stretching are the treatment, & it can't be cured.
    The info in his 'manual' says 4-6 mos Rx & phys.therapy. Doesn't say what happens next, or if the pain ever goes away - or is chronic 24/7 and has to be treated with ongoing meds. It does say flare ups, but just 'there can be flare ups' - not much more. Another source said surgery can be done (?),
    but it sounded as if it were a 'last resort' decision.
    Anybody got any specific details I can give to him?
    What happens in the future, how does he have to live with this?
    How can he live with it?
    He's upset.
    Not despondent, but an
    "Oh, shit! Whaddo I do now?
    I heard of this, somewhere, but didn't want it to be me?
    I don't need this crap on top of everything else!"
    Bob B
    SCI - Parent

  2. #2

    useful link

    I too am learning as I go and have searched for info on the web. This site has a lot of info about various sci topics Hope it helps.

  3. #3
    H O stands for Heterotopic Oscification. It is a bone growth post injury, I believe usually near a joint. We were all made aware of that, but I believe it is a relatively low percentage occurrence. It is not life threatening, I think. It may interfere with movement and may have to be operated. I remember being very scared when I was taught about it, but my recommendation is to be aware when doing range of motion excercises of sudden or gradual loss in range.

    His pain does not seem to be related to H O, from my non-medical perspective. If he feels pain in areas that were injured, it may be a sign of recovery. If it is more general, it may be nerve pain which others can discuss in more detail than me.

    Hope it helps.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Baltimore MD
    I found something here:
    and a lot on it by googling.
    It was suspected a few days ago, because of his pain and complaints.
    He definitely has it. X-rays confirmed it yesterday, and he's to start on the medication today.
    I'm particularly interested in personal accounts from any SCI patients
    who have HO, & been thru this before.
    Bob B
    SCI - Parent

  5. #5
    You sound like I did when they told me my son had HO. HO? Heterotopic Ossification? Didn't have a clue how to spell it or pronounce it. Bottom line it's bone that is building up in muscle. The percentage of people that get this is relatively small. It seems like my son ends up with all the things most people don't get! It tends to show up with people that have SCI and brain injury. Although my son didn't have a brain injury, his head was badly injured.

    He has it in his hip and it was discovered by his PT at a very early stage. His ROM was slightly compromised and the X-rays showed the HO. He was put on didronel for 6 months. It seems to be a mystery to anyone I have talked to why this happens. My son was very active, in great shape and very healthy. No one seems to know what triggers it.

    He too has pain in his hip, but the doctors do not feel it is related to the HO. It is a pain that would be that of someone with sciatica. I would think if the bone build up is in such a place that it is pinching on nerves, it would certainly create nerve pain.

    Here is a helpful article-
    eMedicine - Heterotopic Ossification : Article by Daniel S Moore, MD

    He has had it checked and it doesn't seem to have progressed from when it was first discovered. I spoke with a doctor who lectures about it and learned that it is very vascular in nature. That surprised me because I thought it was nothing more than bone. Unless it is really compromising your son's activities, it is better left alone.

    I'm glad to hear your son is doing better. We've had our share of ups and downs but I look back at where we were a year ago, and we have made considerable progress. Certainly not as much as we would like but at least we are moving in the right direction. Hope your son keeps moving in a positive direction as well.
    "Our lives begin to end the day
    we become silent about things that matter."
    - Martin Luther King Jr

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