What is the definition of Contracture Deformity?

A contracture develops when the normally stretchy (elastic) tissues are replaced by nonstretchy (inelastic) fiber-like tissue. This tissue makes it hard to stretch the area and prevents normal movement.

Contractures mostly occur in the skin, the tissues underneath, and the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding a joint. They affect range of motion and function in a certain body part. Often, there is also pain.

What are the alternative names for Contracture Deformity?

Deformity - contracture

What are the causes for Contracture Deformity?

Contracture can be caused by any of the following:

  • Brain and nervous system disorders, such as cerebral palsy or stroke
  • Inherited disorders (such as muscular dystrophy)
  • Nerve damage
  • Reduced use (for example, from lack of mobility or injuries)
  • Severe muscle and bone injuries
  • Scarring after traumatic injury or burns


Follow your health care provider's instructions for treating contracture at home. Treatments may include: 

  • Doing exercises and stretches
  • Using braces and splints

When should I contact a medical professional for Contracture Deformity?

Contact your provider if:

  • A contracture seems to be developing.
  • You notice a decreased ability to move a joint.


The provider will ask about your symptoms. Questions may include when the symptoms began, whether or not you have pain in the affected area, and what treatments you've had in the past.

Depending on the cause and type of contracture, you may need tests such as an x-ray.

Treatment may include physical therapy, medicines, and orthopedic braces. Surgery may be helpful for some types of contractures.



Campbell TM, Dudek N, Trudel G. Joint contractures. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 127.

Miller RH, Azar FM, Throckmorton TW. Shoulder and elbow injuries. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 46.

  • Condition: Severe Flexion Contracture Deformity of Adjacent Fingers
  • Journal: Zhonghua shao shang za zhi = Zhonghua shaoshang zazhi = Chinese journal of burns
  • Treatment Used: Skin from from Toe Web
  • Number of Patients: 6
  • Published —
In this study, researchers sought to determine the best treatment for severe flexion contracture deformity of adjacent fingers.
  • Condition: Multiple Joint Scar Contracture Deformities
  • Journal: Zhonghua shao shang za zhi = Zhonghua shaoshang zazhi = Chinese journal of burns
  • Treatment Used: Simultaneous Surgical Reconstruction
  • Number of Patients: 24
  • Published —
In this study, researchers evaluated the outcomes of undergoing simultaneous surgical reconstruction for the treatment of multiple joint scar contracture deformities.

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.