Geography and Anthropology
This case study documents an unusual heterotopic ossification with associated pseudarthroses of the lumbar spine. We examined the partial skeletal remains of an adult from a Late Bronze Age (Mycenaean Late Helladic IIB-IIIA1 period, approximately1400–1375 BCE) chamber tomb from the Athenian Agora excavations in Greece. This individual had a large bony mass in the region of the intertransversarius muscle that spanned L3–L5 vertebrae and formed pseudarthroses at the superior and inferior ends. The differential diagnosis of the bony mass included dystrophic and neoplastic calcifications and myositis ossificans traumatica (MOT). MOT is a benign heterotopic bone growth typically found in skeletal muscles. MOT usually results from a trauma and is most commonly found in the thigh, buttocks, or upper arm, although it has been documented clinically in other areas as well, such as in paravertebral muscles. The mature, remodelled cortex of the bony mass and the two well-developed pseudarthroses indicate that this individual lived with this condition for a number of years.
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
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