The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 4, 1328 - 1334

Heterotopic Ossification Prophylaxis After Total Hip Arthroplasty: Randomized Trial of 400 vs 700 cGy

Liu, Jane Z. et al.


Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a known complication following total hip arthroplasty. Radiation is an effective prophylaxis, but an optimal protocol has yet to be determined. We performed a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial in high-risk patients to determine the efficacy of 400 vs 700 cGy doses of radiation.


One hundred forty-seven patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty and at high risk for HO at an urban medical center were randomized to receive either a single 400 or 700 cGy dose of radiation postoperatively. High risk was defined as a diagnosis of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, hypertrophic osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or history of previous HO. Radiation was administered on the first or second postoperative day. A single blinded reviewer graded radiographs taken immediately postoperatively and at a minimum of 6 months postoperatively using the Brooker classification. Progression was defined as an increase in Brooker classification. Operative data including surgical approach, implant fixation, revision surgery, and postoperative range of motion data were also collected.


A significantly greater portion of patients who received the 400 cGy dose demonstrated progression of HO than patients who received the 700 cGy dose. There were no wound complications. No preoperative factors were associated with a higher rate of progression. Patients who progressed had less flexion on physical examination than patients who did not progress, but this was not clinically significant.


Seven hundred centigray was superior to 400 cGy in preventing HO formation following total hip arthroplasty in high-risk patients and may be the more effective treatment in this population. Further studies comparing 700 cGy to dosages between 400 and 700 cGy may help to clarify if a more optimal dose can be identified.

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