Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Contracture
A contracture is the abnormal shortening of muscle or other
tissue. It may be caused by muscle spasm, wasting away of tissue and muscle
(atrophy), scar formation from injury, chronic disease, or lack of use.
A contracture often develops in a joint affected by arthritis or in a
paralyzed limb. It may make it impossible to move the joint normally. A
contracture causes surrounding muscle, tendons, ligaments, and bone to shorten
or bend. And it can lead to permanent deformity and disability.
Contractures are treated in many ways, including physical therapy, casts,
Current as of:
February 24, 2016
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.