Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the formation of bone at extraskeletal sites. Over 60% of amputees injured by improvised explosive devices in the recent conflict in Afghanistan have developed HO, resulting in functional impairment. It is hypothesised that a key aetiological factor is the blast wave; however, other environmental and medical risk factors, which the casualties have been exposed to, have also been postulated. The suicide terrorist bombings in London in 2005 resulted in many blast-related casualties, many of whom were managed by the Royal London Hospital. This cohort of severely injured patients whose injuries also included trauma-related amputations shared some, but not all, of the risk factors identified in the military population. We reviewed these patients, in particular to assess the presence or absence of military-established risk factors for the formation of HO in these casualties.
- Blast injury
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