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    Heterotopic ossification (HO) is common following surgery for elbow trauma and can have a significant impact on elbow function. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for HO prophylaxis following total hip arthroplasty is well described, with the gold standard of indomethacin 25 mg tid for 6 weeks. However, there is sparse evidence relating to the elbow joint, particularly after elbow trauma surgery. We aim to investigate the efficacy of NSAIDs in the primary prevention of HO amongst all adult patients undergoing surgery for elbow trauma and identify risk factors for HO formation. A search of the Fiona Stanley Hospital electronic theater database for procedures undertaken for elbow trauma from January 2015 to June 2020 was performed. Electronic medical records and radiographs were reviewed to determine the incidence of HO, prescription of NSAIDs, biographical data, and complications. One hundred and fifty-three patients were identified of which 78 patients received NSAIDs postoperatively, compared to 72 who did not. The prescribing history of the remaining 3 patients was unknown. In the NSAID group, the typical patient was prescribed 3-7 days of NSAIDs. Ten patients received a prophylactic course (4-6 weeks). The incidence of HO was similar in both groups (24% in those taking NSAIDs vs. 21% in those not taking NSAIDs). Of those specifically prescribed a prophylactic course, 50% developed HO and 50% did not. Statistical analysis demonstrated that patients with increased body mass index and high energy injuries were more likely to develop HO. Overall complications were low within the cohort. Only 1 patient, who was prescribed NSAIDs, suffered a fracture nonunion (1.3%). NSAIDs did not affect the incidence of HO about the elbow following surgery for trauma amongst our cohort. There was no appreciable difference in the rates of HO amongst those prescribed NSAIDs and those who were not. Increased body mass index and high energy trauma were predictive for higher incidence of HO. Risks of NSAID therapy were low, with only 1 (1.3%) patient suffering a nonunion. © 2021 The Authors.


    Kieran Bochat, Andrew C Mattin, Brendan J Ricciardo. The efficacy of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories in the prevention of heterotopic ossification following elbow trauma surgery. JSES international. 2021 Jul;5(4):793-796

    PMID: 34223432

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