Immobilization, immobility (lat. Immobilis – “immovable”) is one of the medical procedures, which puts the body or limbs in a forced position or state of rest, in order to spare it, faster healing of wounds and reduce pain. Although it is one of the oldest medical procedures, as a form of caring for injured persons, the standard application of immobilization began only at the beginning of the 20th century.
Although the development of modern surgical techniques, aided by the discovery of antibiotics, led to significant changes in the approach to treating locomotor injuries using immobilization in the middle of the 20th century, conservative treatment is still inconceivable without immobilization as the primary and main method of treatment. Thus, in modern operative surgery, immobilization becomes an auxiliary method, which should ensure, improve and accelerate the success of surgical treatment.
Immobilization as a method in the 21st century is constantly supplemented with new approaches and aids, and the emergence of new (more sophisticated) means and materials enables classic immobilization procedures to be performed faster, simpler, cheaper and more acceptable to the patient.
Immobilization can be temporary, transport (to the place of application of appropriate treatment) or permanent (until healing). In the hospital treatment of bone fractures in the limbs, immobilization can be combined with extension.