Postoperative single-fraction radiation for prevention of heterotopic ossification of the elbow

Clifford G. Robinson, Joshua M. Polster, Chandana A. Reddy, Janice A. Lyons, Peter J. Evans, Jeffrey N. Lawton, Thomas J. Graham, John H. Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: Heterotopic ossification (HO) about the elbow has been described after surgery, trauma, and burns. Even limited deposits can lead to significant functional deficits. Little data exist regarding outcomes of patients treated with radiation therapy (RT) after elbow surgery. We report here the Cleveland Clinic experience with single-fraction radiation following surgery to the elbow. The primary endpoint was the rate of new HO after RT. Secondary endpoints were range of motion, functional compromise, and toxicity. Methods and Materials: From May 1993 to July 2006, 36 patients underwent elbow surgery followed by single-fraction RT. Range of motion data were collected before and during surgery and at last follow-up. Radiographs were reviewed for persistent or new HO. Patient and treatment factors were analyzed for correlation with development of HO or functional compromise. Results: Median follow-up was 8.7 months, median age was 42 years, and 75% of patients were male. Twenty-six (72%) patients had HO prior to surgery. All patients had significant limitations in flexion/extension or pronation/supination at baseline. Thirty-one (86%) patients had prior elbow trauma, and 26 (72%) patients had prior surgery. RT was administered a median of 1 day postoperatively (range, 1-4 days). Thirty-four patients received 700 cGy, and 2 patients received 600 cGy. Three (8%) patients developed new HO after RT. All patients had improvement in range of motion from baseline. No patient or treatment factors were significantly associated with the development of HO or functional compromise. Conclusions: Single-fraction RT after surgery to the elbow is associated with favorable functional and radiographic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1499
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


  • Elbow
  • Functional outcomes
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Single fraction
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Postoperative single-fraction radiation for prevention of heterotopic ossification of the elbow'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this