The Effects of Immobilization on Bone

  • Franz U. Steinberg
Part of the Topics in Bone and Mineral Disorders book series (TBMD)


Accretion and resorption of the skeletal mass, especially of the lower part of the body, are maintained in equilibrium by the stimulus of weight bearing and activity. Immobilization, whether by prolonged recumbency, paralysis, or space-flight immobilization, leads to bone atrophy. Calcium released by the immobilized skeleton is excreted in the urine with resulting hypercalciuia ultimately reflecting the extent of bone loss. The excessive elimination of calcium salts in the urine also predisposes to nephrocalcinosis and nephrolithiasis, the latter representing a frequent complication of spinal-cord lesions. The deposition of calcium salts in soft tissues is another sequela of loss of calcium from the skeletal mass.


Bone Formation Bone Mass Urinary Calcium Excretion Calcium Balance Calcium Loss 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz U. Steinberg
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Washington University School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.The Jewish Hospital of St. LouisUSA

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