Acetabular Reaming Is a Reliable Model to Produce and Characterize Periarticular Heterotopic Ossification of the Hip

Stefano Negri, Yiyun Wang, Zhao Li, Qizhi Qin, Seungyong Lee, Masnsen Cherief, Jiajia Xu, Robert Joel Tower, Bradley Presson, Adam Levin, Edward McCarthy, Benjamin Levi, Aaron W. James*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a pathologic process characterized by the formation of bone tissue in extraskeletal locations. The hip is a common location of HO, especially as a complication of arthroplasty. Here, we devise a first-of-its-kind mouse model of post-surgical hip HO and validate expected cell sources of HO using several HO progenitor cell reporter lines. To induce HO, an anterolateral surgical approach to the hip was used, followed by disclocation and acetabular reaming. Animals were analyzed with high-resolution roentgenograms and micro-computed tomography, conventional histology, immunohistochemistry, and assessments of fluorescent reporter activity. All the treated animals' developed periarticular HO with an anatomical distribution similar to human patients after arthroplasty. Heterotopic bone was found in periosteal, inter/intramuscular, and intracapsular locations. Further, the use of either PDGFRα or scleraxis (Scx) reporter mice demonstrated that both cell types gave rise to periarticular HO in this model. In summary, acetabular reaming reproducibly induces periarticular HO in the mouse reproducing human disease, and with defined mesenchymal cellular contributors similar to other experimental HO models. This protocol may be used in the future for further detailing of the cellular and molecular mediators of post-surgical HO, as well as the screening of new therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-888
Number of pages13
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • heterotopic bone
  • hip arthroplasty
  • myositis ossificans
  • scleraxis


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