When muscle forms into bone…is it Myositis Ossificans?

What is Myositis ossificans?

My chiropractic health assistant came into the clinic today and was complaining of bruising on the inside of his thigh.  He explained that he took a puck to the area of the inner thigh a few days prior which lead to immediate swelling and bruising.  After touching the area, he felt a lump and was concerned about whether the contusion or collection of blood in the muscle would cause any long lasting issues…one in particular that was mentioned is myositis ossificans. 

Myositis ossificans may develop after a contusion or blow to a muscle usually in the thigh.  Specifically, it is when bone grows or takes form within muscle. It is usually as a result of a hard impact (such as a puck to the leg or fall) which causes damage to the sheath that surrounds a bone called the periostium as well as to the muscle. The symptoms of myositis ossificans include pain in the muscle particularly during exercise or sport activities. This will cause a restriction in range of movement in the leg and a hard lump maybe felt in the muscle itself.

How is myositis ossificans diagnosed? 

As mentioned above, bone growth within the muscle, called calcification can occur and maybe painful. The bone will grow two to four weeks following the injury and be mature bone within 3 to 6 months. An x-ray can confirm the diagnosis and show bone growth.

How do I avoid getting myositis ossificans? 

After injuring the muscle area, apply cold therapy and compression immediately. Furthermore, you may wish to use heat to loosen the tightened and bruised muscles. Ice will help reduce pain, inflammation and swelling and encourage the injured muscle to heal.  Furthermore, chiropractic care, physiotherapy and massage therapy will help to drain swelling and assist in healing.

What treatment options exist for myositis ossificans?

My assistant was treated with laser therapy, cryotherapy and soft tissue therapy 3 days following his injury. He immediately felt better. We recommend 2-3 treatments per week for 2-3 weeks in order to facilitate healing and prevent further damage. Furthermore, massage therapy along with ultrasound, electrotherapy and heat therapy may be effective.

Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates

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Dr. Luciano Di Loreto