What is myositis ossificans?

Myositis ossificans can develop as a complication of a poorly treated contusion. The condition is characterized by a small bony growth inside the affected muscle.

The condition typically arises from the impact that results to damage to the sheath surrounding the periosteum as well as the muscle. Bone will form inside the muscle which is called as calcification that can cause pain. The bone can grow within 2-4 weeks after the injury and become mature within 3-6 months.

The usual causes of myositis ossificans include the following:

  • Unable to utilize cold therapy and compression after the injury
  • Early application of heat
  • Undergoing intensive physiotherapy or massage right after the injury that can increase internal bleeding and prevent healing from taking place
  • Resuming training early
    myositis ossificans

    The condition develops some time after sustaining a contusion or direct strike to a muscle, typically in the thigh.

What are the signs?

The condition develops some time after sustaining a contusion or direct strike to a muscle, typically in the thigh.

Some of the usual signs include:

  • Muscle pain especially after physical activity or exercise
  • Limited range of movement in the leg
  • Hardened lump can be felt deep in the muscle

If an X-ray is taken, it can confirm a diagnosis and reveal the growth of bone.

Management of myositis ossificans

If myositis ossificans is suspected, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The conservative treatment generally includes rest and possible immobilization of the affected limb for 3-4 weeks. This will allow enough time for the body to reabsorb the calcification.

An X-ray of the muscle is taken to check when it is safe to start the rehabilitation and strengthening exercises. In severe cases, surgery might be an option which involves removal of the bony growth.

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