Heterotopic ossification causing radiculopathy after lumbar total disc arthroplasty

Keith L. Jackson, Justin M. Hire, Jeremy M. Jacobs, Charles C. Key, John Glenden DeVine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To date, no reports have presented radiculopathy secondary to heterotopic ossification following lumbar total disc arthroplasty. The authors present a previously unpublished complication of lumbar total disk arthroplasty (TDA) secondary to heterotopic ossification (HO) in the spinal canal, and they propose a modification to the McAfee classification of HO. The patient had undergone an L5/S1 lumbar TDA two years prior due to discogenic back pain. His preoperative back pain was significantly relieved, but he developed new, atraumatic onset radiculopathy. Radiographs and a computed tomography myelogram revealed an implant malposition posteriorly with heterotopic bone formation in the canal, causing an impingement of the traversing nerve root. Revision surgery was performed with implant extraction, L5/S1 anterior lumbar interbody fusion, supplemental posterior decompression, and pedicle screw fixation. The patient tolerated the procedure well, with complete resolution of the radicular leg pain. At a two-year follow up, the patient had a solid fusion without subsidence or recurrence of heterotopic bone. This case represents a novel pattern of heterotopic ossification, and it describes a previously unreported cause for implant failure in lumbar disc replacement surgery-reinforcing the importance of proper intraoperative component positioning. We propose a modification to the existing McAfee classification of HO after TDA with the addition of Class V and VI HO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-460
Number of pages5
JournalAsian Spine Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Radiculopathy
  • Total disc arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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