A contracture is a tightening of muscle, tendons, ligaments, or skin that prevents normal movement.
Becker's muscular dystrophy Cerebral palsy Duchenne muscular dystrophy Dupuytren's contracture Volkmann's contracture
Deformity - contracture
A contracture develops when the normally elastic (stretchy) connective tissues are replaced by inelastic (nonstretchy) fiber-like tissue. This makes it hard to stretch the area and prevents normal movement.
Contractures occur primarily in the skin, underlying tissues, muscle, tendons, and joint areas. The most common causes are scarring and lack of use (due to immobilization or inactivity).
- Inherited disorders (such as
- Injury (including burns)
- Nerve damage
- Reduced use (for example, from immobilization)
Review Date: 08/03/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.