Fractures and operative procedures which are followed by prolonged immobilization of an extremity lead to a variable degree of atrophy of the bones of the extremity. This atrophy may be an important factor in the prolonged disability which often follows such injuries or operations. The observations recorded in this paper were made in an effort to determine whether or not atrophy of the bones will occur if a normal extremity is immobilized and whether the atrophy which follows fractures and operations is due to the immobilization or is due to the injury and changes in the circulation incident to the healing of the injury.
The various types of general and local atrophy and resorption of the bones have been considered elsewhere.1 For the maintenance of normal structure of the bones it is necessary that an animal consume and utilize an adequate diet and that the bone be subjected to
KEY JA, FISCHER F, ELZINGA E. LOCAL ATROPHY OF BONEI. EFFECT OF IMMOBILIZATION AND OF OPERATIVE PROCEDURES. Arch Surg. 1934;28(5):936–942. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01170170131010