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, and 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, and surgery.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Find out what women really need.