Ankylosis, or Anchylosis (from Greek αγκυλος, bent, crooked) is a stiffness of a joint, the result of injury or disease. The rigidity may be complete or partial and may be due to inflammation of the tendinous or muscular structures outside the joint or of the tissues of the joint itself. When the structures outside the joint are affected, the term "false" ankylosis has been used in contradistinction to "true" ankylosis, in which the disease is within the joint. When inflammation has caused the joint-ends of the bones to be fused together the ankylosis is termed osseous or complete. Excision of a completely ankylosed shoulder or elbow may restore free mobility and usefulness to the limb. "Ankylosis" is also used as an anatomical term, bones being said to ankylose (or anchylose) when, from being originally distinct, they coalesce, or become so joined together that no motion can take place between them.
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