[ankylo- + -sis]
Immobility of a joint. The condition may be congenital (sometimes hereditary), or it may be the result of disease, trauma, surgery, or contractures resulting from immobility.
Contractures induced by immobility and resulting in ankylosis can be prevented by putting joints through their normal range of motion passively whenever they cannot be exercised actively. If a nonsurgical ankylosis is present, the joint is maintained in a functional position; splints are used for patients with spastic muscles; passive range-of-motion exercises to affected joints are initiated, and appropriate physical therapy is prescribed. Orthopedic intervention may be required. If an ankylosis is surgically created, the joint is immobilized until the bone has healed (usually in 6 to 12 weeks), and correct body alignment is maintained.
SEE: ankylosing spondylitis
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