Volkmann's contracture


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contracture

 [kon-trak´cher]
abnormal shortening of muscle tissue, rendering the muscle highly resistant to stretching; this can lead to permanent disability. It can be caused by fibrosis of the tissues supporting the muscle or the joint, or by disorders of the muscle fibers themselves.

Improper support and positioning of joints affected by arthritis or injury, and inadequate exercising of joints in patients with paralysis can result in contractures. For example, a patient with arthritis or severe burns may assume the most comfortable position and will resist changing position because motion is painful. If the joints are allowed to remain in this position, the muscle fibers that normally provide motion will stretch or shorten to accommodate the position and eventually will lose their ability to contract and relax.

In many cases contractures can be prevented by range of motion exercises (active or passive), and by adequate support of the joints to eliminate constant shortening or stretching of the muscles and surrounding tissues.
Dupuytren's contracture a flexion deformity of the fingers or toes, due to shortening, thickening, and fibrosis of the palmar or plantar fascia.
ischemic contracture muscular contracture and degeneration due to interference with the circulation due to pressure or to injury or cold.
Volkmann's contracture contraction of the fingers and sometimes of the wrist, or of analogous parts of the foot, with loss of power, after severe injury or improper use of a tourniquet or cast in the region of the elbow.

Volkmann's contracture

Etymology: Richard von Volkmann, German surgeon, 1830-1889
a serious persistent flexion contraction of forearm and hand caused by ischemia. A pressure or crushing injury in the region of the elbow usually precedes this condition, and pressure from a cast or tight bandage about the elbow is a common cause. Permanent fibrosis, muscle degeneration, and a clawlike hand may result. Nurses must watch for swelling, pallor, coldness, cyanosis, or pain distal to the injury site so that prompt loosening of constriction can restore circulation. Also called ischemic contracture, Volkmann's paralysis.
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Volkmann's ischemic contracture

contracture

(kon-trak'chur) [L. contractura, a drawing together]
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CONTRACTURE OF THE RIGHT HAND
Fibrosis of connective tissue in skin, fascia, muscle, or a joint capsule that prevents normal mobility of the related tissue or joint. See: illustration

Dupuytren's contracture

See: Dupuytren's contracture

fibrotic contracture

Contraction of a muscle in which the muscle tissue has been replaced by fibrous tissue because of injury.

functional contracture

Contraction of a muscle that decreases during anesthesia or sleep.

myostatic contracture

Adaptive shortening of muscle, usually caused by immobilization and without tissue pathology.

physiological contracture

A temporary condition in which tension and shortening of a muscle are maintained for a considerable time although there is no tetanus. It may be induced by injury, disease, heat, drug action, or acids.

pseudomyostatic contracture

An apparent permanent contraction of a muscle due to a central nervous system lesion, resulting in loss of range of motion and resistance of the muscle to stretch.

Volkmann's contracture

See: Volkmann, Richard von