Definitions for contracturekənˈtræk tʃər
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an abnormal and usually permanent contraction of a muscle
An abnormal, sometimes permanent, contraction of a muscle; a deformity so caused
a state of permanent rigidity or contraction of the muscles, generally of the flexor muscles
Origin: [L. contractura a drawing together.]
A muscle contracture is a permanent shortening of a muscle or joint. It is usually in response to prolonged hypertonic spasticity in a concentrated muscle area, such as is seen in the tightest muscles of people with conditions like spastic cerebral palsy. Contractures are essentially muscles or tendons that have remained too tight for too long, thus becoming shorter. Once they occur they cannot be stretched or exercised away; they must be released with orthopedic surgery. Most of the physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other exercise regimens targeted towards people with spasticity focuses on trying to prevent contractures from happening in the first place. Contractures can also be due to ischemia, as in Volkmann's contracture. Excessive matrix metalloproteinase and myofibroblast accumulation in the wound margins can result in contracture.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Prolonged shortening of the muscle or other soft tissue around a joint, preventing movement of the joint.
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