Reduced physical activity, for example, through disease, injury, or following major surgery. Immobility is particularly harmful in the elderly because it causes muscle wasting and progressive loss of function. Total immobility can produce complications including bedsores, pneumonia, or contractures. A common complication of partial immobility is oedema (fluid retention), which causes swelling of the legs. Rarely, sluggish blood flow encourages formation of a thrombus (abnormal blood clot) in a leg vein. Regular physiotherapy and adequate nursing care are important for any person who is totally immobile.


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