Retroversion means "turning back" and is used in medicine for various phenomena. On the one hand, the extremities can be lifted in a dorsal direction and, on the other hand, certain sections of bone are retroverted by themselves. In addition, retroversion may relate to the backward tilt of organs such as the uterus (uterus).

What is the retroversion?

Retroversion means "turning back" and is used in medicine for various phenomena. For example, the retroversion may refer to the backwards inclination of organs such as the uterus (here side view).

The joints of the body have different axes of movement. Thus, depending on the shape of their joints involved, limbs have different forms of movement and range of motion. Joints with only one axis of motion allow two forms of movement: the movement and the counter-movement, which returns the limbs back to the starting position. Most of the two forms of movement of uniaxial joints are extension and flexion.

By contrast, retroversion is a relatively rare form of movement within the human body. The movement sequence is the rotation of a limb about an axis in the frontal plane, ie the lifting of the extremity backwards. The retroversion together with the anteversion forms a movement axis. Anteversion raises the extremity forward.

Regardless of the range of motion of the joints, the term "retroversion" in medical terminology is often associated with organs, especially in relation to the female genitals. In this context, the retroversion or backward inclination of the uterus, which is physiological to a degree, should be mentioned.

Function & Task

Basically, the retroversion need not be directly associated with a motion axis, but may also designate the position of a particular bone portion in the dorsal direction. This is the case, for example, with the shoulder socket, which is placed posteriorly in the shoulder joint and thus lies retroverted.

As an actual form of movement, the retroversion again refers to the extremities, that is, the human arms and legs. Humans can lift their arms and legs forward and backward to a degree. The associated motion axis is the retroversion anteversion axis. The associated level is called Transverse.

For example, this axis is equipped with shoulder and hip joints. The shoulder joint is referred to as the most flexible ball joint of the body. Also, the hip joint is a ball joint, but occurs in the joint variant of the nut joint: a subspecies of the ball joint. Anteversion up to 90 degrees is possible in the shoulder joint. Compared with this, the retroversion is relatively low with a maximum of 50 degrees.

In retroversion, the arm in the shoulder joint is moved about a shoulder axis of the frontal plane in the dorsal direction. The arm is therefore raised backwards. The retroversion of the leg analogously corresponds to a rotation of the lower limb in the hip joint about a frontal plane axis to the dorsal and thus the raising of the leg in the back direction. The retroversion is related to the term extension and represents in the described movement an extension in the shoulder or hip joint to the rear.

In connection with organs, the retroversion stands for a backwards inclination. Such a backwards inclination may be physiological, especially in the female uterus. However, a retroversion of certain organs may also be a pathological sign, for example due to trauma.

Diseases & complaints

The retroversion of the extremities may be difficult or even abolished under some circumstances. This is due to illness or trauma. Pain can also limit the retroversion of the extremities. Retro and anteversion are made possible by the shape of the shoulder and hip joints, but their realization is the responsibility of the muscles in this area. For this reason, muscle diseases can impair the ability to retrograde. In addition to inflammation tendon tears and muscle fiber tears are possible causes of aggravated or reversed mobility.

The command for retroversion is given to muscles via efferent motor nerves from the central nervous system. Thus, a failure of the nerve conduction can affect the retroversion. Such failure or impairment of nerve conduction may result from compressions, trauma or inflammation of peripheral nerves. As inflammatory causes, for example, infections in question.

When peripheral nervous system nerve conduction loses its conductivity due to demyelination, this is usually due to polyneuropathy, which may be due to causes such as malnutrition or poisoning.

The cause of neuromuscular disorders of retroversion can also be located in the central nervous system and thus be associated with a spinal cord infarction, a stroke, degeneration or inflammation.

In addition to traumatic and neuromuscular complicated or unusual retroversion ability, joint disease may also be responsible for complaints in retroversion. Basically, in joint diseases usually all movement axes of the joint are affected. The best known joint disease is osteoarthritis, in which the articular surfaces are affected by wear beyond the age physiological level. The articular cartilage is wearing off and the joints are visibly stiffening. Osteoarthritis is often preceded by overload (eg, overweight) or poor posture.

All joints can also suffer a dislocation. In this pathological phenomenon, the joints are colloquially spherical. As soon as the condyle is no longer in the associated socket, the retroversion is disturbed as a consequence. Articular manifestations are common in the hip joint. In contrast, the shoulder joint often suffers from a dislocation, as it is the most flexible ball joint of the body. The amount of movement of a joint and thus the ability to retroversion are determined by neutral-zero method.