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.

con·trac·ture

(kon-trak'chūr), Do not confuse this word with contraction.
Static muscle shortening due to tonic spasm or fibrosis, to loss of muscular balance, to the antagonist being paralyzed, or to a loss of motion of the adjacent joint.
[L. contractura, fr. contraho, to draw together]

contracture

/con·trac·ture/ (-cher) abnormal shortening of muscle tissue, rendering the muscle highly resistant to passive stretching.
Dupuytren's contracture  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 from pressure, or from injury or cold.
organic contracture  permanent and continuous contracture.
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.

contracture

(kən-trăk′chər)
n.
1. An abnormal, often permanent shortening, as of muscle or scar tissue, that results in distortion or deformity, especially of a joint of the body.
2. A deformity resulting from a contracture.

contracture

[kəntrak′chər]
Etymology: L, contractura, a pulling together
an abnormal, usually permanent condition of a joint, characterized by flexion and fixation. It may be caused by atrophy and shortening of muscle fibers resulting from immobilization or by loss of the normal elasticity of connective tissues or the skin, as from the formation of extensive scar tissue over a joint. See also Volkmann's contracture.

contracture

Orthopedics A fixed resistance to passive movement of a musculoskeletal unit or joint, usually due to local fibrosis, often caused by prior ischemic insult. See Capsular contracture, Fibromyalgia, Volkman's ischemic contracture. Cf Contraction.

con·trac·ture

(kŏn-trak'shŭr)
Static muscle shortening due to tonic spasm or fibrosis, to loss of muscular balance (the antagonists are paralyzed), or to a loss of motion of the adjacent joint.
[L. contractura, fr. contraho, to draw together]

contracture

(kon-trak'chur) [L. contractura, a drawing together]
Enlarge picture
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

contracture

Permanent shortening of tissue, such as muscle, tendon or skin, as a result of disuse, injury or disease. Contracture leads to the inability to straighten joints fully and to permanent deformity and disability. Skin contractures often follow burns.

Contracture

A tightening of muscles that prevents normal movement of the associated limb or other body part.
Mentioned in: Cerebral Palsy

contracture

permanent muscle contraction secondary to tonic muscle spasm, characteristic of some types of paralysis; e.g. loss of normal agonist movement allows unopposed antagonist muscle action, with later shortening (by Davis' law) and resultant fibrosis (i.e. contracture) of the antagonist muscle and local soft tissues, with inability to reorient the part to its original position

contracture (kn·trakˑ·chr),

n a frozen joint in flexion.

con·trac·ture

(kŏn-trak'shŭr) Do not confuse this word with contraction.
Static muscle shortening due to tonic spasm or fibrosis, to loss of muscular balance, to the antagonist being paralyzed, or to a loss of motion.
[L. contractura, fr. contraho, to draw together]

contracture (kəntrak´chər),

n a permanent shortening, or contraction, of a muscle.

contracture

abnormal shortening of muscle tissue, rendering the muscle highly resistant to stretching. A contracture 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.

cauliflower contracture
a disfiguring result to scarring after an aural hematoma.
flexor contracture
joint fixed in flexion.
inherited multiple tendon contracture
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