When Fat is Good: The Biomechanical Role of Fat in the Musculoskeletal System
Hospital for Joint Diseases
Conceptually fat almost always has primary purposes and secondary affects. For example: Systemically the primary purpose of fat is an energy store, the secondary affects leads to bone hypertrophy protecting against fracture but causing osteoarthritis. In the musculoskeletal system, one of the primary affects of fat is an articular cushion. . Another primary affect is as a space holder. In some ways the primary and secondary affects interact with each other. For example: following articular disease synovial fat can hypertrophy when injured but can increasing articular cushioning.Lastly some systemic processes such as diabetes and neurologic disorders cause alterations in skeletal fat leading to MSK infections.