The muscles most commonly affected
are those in the neck, shoulders, chest,
and knees. There is
usually no restriction of movement.
Attacks are generally worse in cold,
turbed sleep are common.
hot baths, and massage usually relieves
pain and stiffness.
such as amitriptyline, are often effective
in improving sleep and relieving pain.
The formation of fibrous tissue, w hich
is a process that occurs normally during
the healing of a wound, that may occur
abnormally in some tissues.
form of the condition, known as
fibrous tissue develops
behind the lens of the eye and causes
blindness. This type of fibroplasia is
usually seen only in newborn prema-
ture babies and is the result of excessive
treatment with oxygen.
A rare, cancerous tumour of the cells
material that surrounds body struc-
fibrosarcoma may develop from a non-
or may be cancerous
from the start.
Treatment of a fibrosarcoma is by
surgical removal and/or
However, this may be only temporarily
successful if cells from
have already spread through the blood-
stream to initiate growths elsewhere
in the body.
Inflammation and thickening of the
walls of the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in
the lungs; see
results in scarring of lung tissue (see
interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
people over the age of 60.
Usually, fibrosing alveolitis is a long-
months or years. Rarely, an acute form
occurs that develops rapidly over a few
days or weeks. Both forms tend to
become progressively worse and are
difficult to treat.
In some cases, fibrosing alveolitis is
the result of an
w hich the immune system attacks the
body’s own tissues) and may be associ-
ated w ith such conditions, particularly
Other causes of the con-
dition may include
organs in the chest and treatment with
In many cases, howev-
er, the cause is unknown; the con-
dition is then known as idiopathic pul-
Symptoms of fibrosing alveolitis in -
clude shortness of breath, a persistent
dry cough, and joint pains. As the con-
dition progresses, breathing becomes
increasingly difficult, especially during
vigorous exercise. In severe cases, there
is increased risk of
w ith the disorder are more susceptible
Treatment of the condition involves
the progress of lung damage. Home
oxygen therapy may be used to assist
breathing. For some people, a lung
transplant may be life-saving.
An overgrowth of scar tissue or
formed as an exaggerated healing res-
ponse to infection, inflammation, or
injury. Fibrosis may also result from a
lack of oxygen in a tissue, usually due
to inadequate blood flow through it
(in heart muscle damaged by a
(for example, kidney or muscle cells)
are replaced by fibrous tissue, w hich
results in impaired function
organ concerned. An overgrowth of
structures, a situation that occurs in
ureters (tubes draining urine from the
blocked. Fibrous tissue formed w ithin
a muscle after a tear causes shortening
of the muscle and disruption of the
norm al contraction of its fibres. The
likelihood of further tears occurring
stretched and exercised.
A former term for
The outer and thinner of the two long
bones of the lower leg. The fibula is
much narrower than the other lower-
leg bone, the
(shin), to w hich it
attached at both ends by
top end of the fibula does not reach
the knee, but the lower end extends
below the tibia and forms part of the
The main function of the fibula is to
provide an attachment for the muscles.
It provides little supportive strength to
the lower leg.
The fibula is one of the most commonly
broken bones. A fracture of the fibula
just above the ankle may occur with a
severe ankle sprain as a result of a vio-
lent twisting movement.
a fracture at this location combined
with dislocation of the ankle and some-
times with fracture of the tibia.
To confirm a fracture of the fibula,
are taken. In some cases, the lower
leg is im m obilized in a plaster
allow the bone to heal. If a fracture
occurs in the middle portion of the
fibula, however, im m obilization may
not be needed. If the fracture is severe
(especially if it is accompanied by dis-
location of the ankle), surgery may be
necessary to fasten the broken pieces
of bone with pins.