Heterotopic Bone Formation

About the Condition

Heterotopic Ossification (HO) is a condition that involves 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 Heterotopic Ossification 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, at Cancer Centre London.


At CCL, rather than treating HO after it has occurred, we prefer to offer pre-operative radiotherapy treatments to patients about to undergo a hip replacement, 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 Dr Glees, 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 in the form of a tiny tattoo mark which is about the same size as freckle. All our radiotherapy calculations are done at this visit in conjunction with our radiotherapy physics team
  • An appointment on the morning of the hip replacement operation to administer the radiotherapy treatment, which takes just a few minutes.

Once treatment is complete, the patient will be able to drive themselves to hospital for their hip replacement, if necessary. For the best possible result the hip replacement operation should take place within 4-6 hours of the HO treatment.


Heterotopic Bone Formation Consultants