Wolff's law is a theory developed by the German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff (1836–1902) in the 19th century that states that bone in a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads under which it is placed. If loading on a particular bone increases, the bone will remodel itself over time to become stronger to resist that sort of loading. The internal architecture of the trabeculae undergoes adaptive changes, followed by secondary changes to the external cortical portion of the bone, perhaps becoming thicker as a result. The inverse is true as well: if the loading on a bone decreases, the bone will become weaker due to turnover, it is less metabolically costly to maintain and there is no stimulus for continued remodeling that is required to maintain bone mass.
players often use one arm more than the other
- The racquet-holding arm bones of tennis players become much stronger than those of the other arm. Their bodies have strengthened the bones in their racquet-holding arm since it is routinely placed under higher than normal stresses.
- Surfers who knee-paddle frequently will develop bone bumps, also known as exostoses, on the tibial eminence and the dorsal part of the navicular tarsal bone from the pressure of the surfboard's surface. These are often called surf knots
- Astronauts who spend a long time in space will often return to Earth with weaker bones, since gravity has been greatly diminished and therefore has exerted little force on their bodies.
- Weightlifters often display increases in bone density in response to their training.
- Martial artists who strike objects with increasing intensity (e.g., repeated elbow strikes), display increases in bone density in the striking area. This process is termed cortical remodeling.
is a martial art that emphasizes striking movements
- ^ Anahad O'Connor (October 18, 2010). "The Claim: After Being Broken, Bones Can Become Even Stronger". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/health/19really.html?ref=science. Retrieved 2010-10-19. "This concept — that bone adapts to pressure, or a lack of it — is known as Wolff’s law. ... there is no evidence that a bone that breaks will heal to be stronger than it was before."
- ^ Frost, HM (1994). "Wolff's Law and bone's structural adaptations to mechanical usage: an overview for clinicians". The Angle Orthodontist 64 (3): 175-188. PMID 8060014.
- ^ Stedman's Medical Dictionary
- ^ Wolff J. "The Law of Bone Remodeling". Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer, 1986 (translation of the German 1892 edition)
- ^ Frost, HM (2003). "Bone's mechanostat: a 2003 update". The anatomical record. Part A, Discoveries in molecular, cellular, and evolutionary biology 275 (2): 1081-1101. PMID 14613308. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14613308.
- ^ Mayo Clinic Staff (2010). "Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier". Mayo Foundation for Education and Medical Research. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/strength-training/HQ01710. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- Das Gesetz der Transformation der Knochen - 1892. Reprint: Pro Business, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86805-648-8.
- The Classic: On the Inner Architecture of Bones and its Importance for Bone Growth, Clin Orthop Rel Res. 2010 Apr;468(4):1056-1065
- Julius Wolff Institut, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, main research areas are the regeneration and biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system and the improvement of joint replacement.