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April 17, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(16):1342-1343. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780160034014

In 1900 Sudeck1 described acute bone atrophy developing in the course of a few weeks at the site of an injury or an inflammatory process or at a distance from it and presenting in a roentgenogram a characteristic picture of a patchy bone atrophy. This is accompanied by a rapid wasting of muscles and a corresponding weakness. In cases that arise on the basis of an inflammatory process, various vasomotor and trophic disturbances are to be observed. These include cyanosis, cold and clammy skin, desquamation, atrophy of skin and subcutaneous tissues and delayed healing of wounds. Shrinking of the joint capsule may occur and lead to ankylosis. This condition is not to be confused with atrophy of inactivity; it may indeed develop in a functioning extremity.

The pathogenesis of acute bone atrophy is to be seen in the irritating stimuli proceeding from the inflammatory focus as well as in