Is radiation superior to indomethacin to prevent heterotopic ossification in acetabular fractures?: a systematic review.
until further notice
SourceClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 467, 2, (2009), pp. 526-530
Article / Letter to editor
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Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
SubjectNCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions
Heterotopic ossification is a well-known complication after fixation of an acetabular fracture. Indomethacin and radiation therapy are used as prophylaxis to prevent heterotopic ossification. It is unclear, however, whether either is superior, although this may relate to lack of power in individual studies. To compare the effectiveness of indomethacin with the effectiveness of radiation therapy, we conducted a systematic review in which all published prospective studies were evaluated. We performed a literature search in PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register. The retrieved studies were analyzed and categorized according to the quality and validity score of Jadad et al. We found five appropriate prospective studies, describing 384 patients. Although the quality of the available studies made a proper meta-analysis inappropriate, the incidence of heterotopic ossification was significantly lower in patients treated with radiation than in patients receiving indomethacin (five of 160 versus 20 of 224, respectively). Until further information is available, we believe the evidence supports radiation therapy as the preferred method for preventing heterotopic ossification after operative treatment of acetabular fractures. Level of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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