Contractures refer to the permanent tightening of nonbony tissues, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, or skin. It results in a loss of motion in the affected joints.
Contracture is different from spasticity, but they are often related. Spasticity is an abnormal increase in muscle tone. This can worsen the development of contractures.
Contracture Deformity of the Hand
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Contractures may be caused by abnormalities of the structures surrounding a joint. These include:
- Chronic inflammation
Certain disorders that affect nerves and muscles almost always lead to contractures. For example:
Contractures are often also associated with spasticity resulting from injuries to the central nervous system, such as stroke or brain injury.
Last reviewedAugust 2013by Teresa Briedwell, DPT, OCS; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.