A contracture is a tightening of muscle, tendons, ligaments, or skin that prevents normal movement.
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).
Home care continues the care that the health care provider prescribes. For example, physical therapy exercises must be continued at home.
Call your health care provider if:
Your health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your tightness or limited movement, such as:
Depending on the cause and type of contracture, diagnostic testing (such as an x-ray) may be necessary.
Physical therapy, orthopedic braces, or surgery may be helpful for some types of contractures.
Deformity - contracture