A contracture is the abnormal shortening of muscle or other
tissue. It may be caused by muscle spasm, wasting away of tissue and muscle
(atrophy), scar formation from injury, chronic disease, or lack of use.
A contracture often develops in a joint affected by arthritis or in a
paralyzed limb. It may make it impossible to move the joint normally. A
contracture causes surrounding muscle, tendons, ligaments, and bone to shorten
or bend. And it can lead to permanent deformity and disability.
Contractures are treated in many ways, including physical therapy, casts,
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics