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Activity vs. rest in the treatment of bone, soft tissue and joint injuries.

TitelActivity vs. rest in the treatment of bone, soft tissue and joint injuries.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsBuckwalter, JA
JournalThe Iowa orthopaedic journal
Volume15
Pagination29-42
Date Published1995
ISSN1541-5457
SchlüsselwörterArthrose, Arthrose-Risiko
Abstract One of the most important advances in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries has come from understanding that controlled early resumption of activity can promote restoration of function, and that treatment of injuries with prolonged rest may delay recovery and adversely affect normal tissues. In the last decade of the nineteenth century two widely respected orthopaedists with extensive clinical experience strongly advocated opposing treatments of musculoskeletal injuries. Hugh Owen Thomas in Liverpool believed that enforced, uninterrupted prolonged rest produced the best results. He noted that movement of injured tissues increased inflammation, and that, "It would indeed be as reasonable to attempt to cure a fever patient by kicking him out of bed, as to benefit joint disease by a wriggling at the articulation." Just Lucas-Championnier in Paris took the opposite position. He argued that early controlled active motion accelerated restoration of function, although he noted that mobility had to be given in limited doses. In general, Thomas' views met with greater acceptance in the early part of this century, but experimental studies of the last several decades generally support Lucas-Championneir. They confirm and help explain the deleterious effects of prolonged rest and the beneficial effects of activity on the musculoskeletal tissues. They have shown that maintenance of normal bone, tendon and ligament, articular cartilage and muscle structure and composition require repetitive use, and that changes in the patterns of tissue loading can strengthen or weaken normal tissues. Although all the musculoskeletal tissues can respond to repetitive loading, they vary in the magnitude and type of response to specific patterns of activity. Furthermore, their responsiveness may decline with increasing age. Skeletal muscle and bone demonstrate the most apparent response to changes in activity in individuals of any age. Cartilage and dense fibrous tissues also can respond to loading, but the responses are more difficult to measure. The effects of loading on injured tissues have been less extensively studied, but the available evidence indicates that repair tissues respond to loading and, like immature normal tissues, may be more sensitive to cyclic loading and motion than mature normal tissues. However, early motion and loading of injured tissues is not without risks. Premature or excessive loading and motion of repair tissue can inhibit or stop repair. Unfortunately, the optimal methods of facilitating healing by early application of loading and motion have not been defined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Alternate JournalIowa Orthop J
Full Text
PubMed ID7634042
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