Myositis Ossificans: Risk Factors and Treatment

Basically, myositis ossificans can happen when there has been an error in the healing process of your body. During this time, your muscle cells are replaced by bone cells that are still immature. Of course, you will not be able to determine when this happens. You will know that there is already a problem in your system when a bump or lump occurs in your muscles. Most of the time, this happens a few weeks after you had the injury.

Man suffering from back muscle pain due to myositis ossificans

Before you learn about the treatment and risk factors of Myositis Ossificnas, it is best to know what it is all about. For starters, Myositis Ossificans is an ailment wherein the bone tissue found on your muscle is injured. It can also be any soft tissue in your body. Most of the time, this condition is present in athletes and young adults who had traumatic injuries.

Symptoms

As mentioned, myositis ossificans is like a muscle injury or strain. Apart from feeling pain in the injured area, you may also feel the following signs:

  1. Decreased range of motion
  2. Warmth
  3. Swelling
  4. Bump or lump in the injured area

Once you have felt these signs, you must immediately head to your doctor for a diagnosis. He or she will ask you about the symptoms and what happened before you got the condition. In the event that the pain lasted for more than 3 weeks, the doctor will have to undergo several tests to examine your muscles. Here are the possible exams that you will take:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI : It is a method in which the machine checks your soft tissues.
  • Computed tomography or CT scan: This will show the early development of your bone tissue. Just take note that this exam is not 100% reliable so there is a possibility that the doctor will require you to undergo another test.
  • Ultrasound: These are known to check the sound waves of your soft tissues. Surprisingly, it is one of the oldest ways to determine if there are changes made by the condition. The result will purely depend on the ability of the reader of the said scan so it is not the ideal test to take if you want to get the fastest result.
  • X-ray: Research shows that the early stages of the condition will not be determined through the x-ray. Usually, when the condition is in the first to three weeks stage, the machine will not be able to see the changes. However, the changes that can occur when the condition reaches stage 3 to 4 are easily seen by the machine.

In some cases, the doctor might suggest that you undergo biopsy as well. It is important to note that there can be times when the condition is considered as a soft tissue cancer, especially during the early diagnostic testing.

Causes

In the introduction, we have mentioned that myositis ossificans happens when you had a single traumatic injury. For instance, you experienced a hit when you are playing soccer or football. The sudden and hard-hit can lead to a muscle bruise without you even knowing.

In some cases, you can get this condition when there is a repetitive injury in one particular area. For example, if you are a fan of horseback riding, you have a high tendency to have an injury in your thighs. In short, the condition can end up giving you a severe muscle strain.

Basically, myositis ossificans can happen when there has been an error in the healing process of your body. During this time, your muscle cells are replaced by bone cells that are still immature. Of course, you will not be able to determine when this happens. You will know that there is already a problem in your system when a bump or lump occurs in your muscles. Most of the time, this happens a few weeks after you had the injury.

During the first weeks, you might not be able to determine that you already have the condition. But as time goes, by and you start feeling pain in some parts of your body, the signs of this condition will eventually appear.

Unfortunately, the condition is more common to athletes and young adults as they are more active physically. Another thing to note is that those who have been paralyzed starting from your waist below, they may also get the condition.

Treatment

Now that you are aware of the symptoms and possible causes of myositis ossificans, you should proceed to know the different ways you can treat it. The good news is that the condition can be treated on its own. Meaning, even when you do not do anything, the pain and bump on your muscle will go away.

However, if you feel that you need to treat the condition as it is already interfering with your daily life, then you can do the following:

  1. Take pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen. This can help relieve the pain that you are feeling.
  2. Wrap the muscle using an elastic bandage. This can help reduce the swelling of your affected muscle.
  3. Stretching. Just make sure that you stretch gently to prevent having side effects.
  4. Rest the said muscle.
  5. Ice the injured area.
  6. Elevate the infected area.

You also have the option to do physical therapy. But this is only advisable on the first 72 hours after you had the injury. This will be beneficial to give strength to your muscles. If you are planning to have the therapy, you can do different exercises.

The recommended exercises require you to move your joints gently and slowly in any direction. 

Doing so will help see how far the muscle can go and end up having a full dynamic exercise. The therapy is advisable to provide strength in your muscles.

In the worst cases, the doctor might recommend that you remove the infected muscle. But how will you know if it is already in the worst stage? Surgery will be required when you can no longer do your daily routine. You may also feel extreme pain and there will be growths in your blood vessels, joints, and nerves.

Overall, myositis ossificans is a condition where your muscle forms a bone tissue. This usually happens when you experienced a hard and traumatic injury. Most of the time, the condition happens in your legs and arms. If you are an athlete or a young adult that is exposed to tons of physical activities, then you are most likely to have this condition.

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