DefinitionContractures 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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CausesContractures may be caused by abnormalities of the structures surrounding a joint. These include:
- Chronic inflammation
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your risk of contractures include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tenosynovitis —inflammation of a tendon and its sheath
- Polio and other diseases of nerves and muscles
- Prolonged inactivity
SymptomsThe primary symptom is loss of motion in a joint. Pain can also be a major symptom.
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. Your joints will be examined for restricted movement and range of motion. Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with x-rays .
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