Lessened physical activity, for example, through injury, disease, or following major surgery. Immobility is especially harmful in elderly people because it creates progressive loss of function, which leads to muscle wasting.
Full immobility can produce a variety of complications, including pneumonia, bedsores, or contractures (deformity created by the shrinkage of tissue). A usual complication that arises with partial immobility is oedema (fluid retention), that causes swelling of the legs. Unusually, sluggish blood flow encourages formation of a thrombus (abnormal blood clot) in a leg vein.
Routine physiotherapy and adequate nursing care are vital for anyone who is completely immobile.