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, which 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:

  • Deformity
  • Immobility
  • Injury
  • 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.