What is a joint contracture?
A contracture develops when a non-stretchy, fiber-like tissue replaces the normally stretchy, elastic connective tissue in a joint, such as the hip or knee. Contractures can happen in muscles and tendons as well. A contracture makes it hard to move and often causes pain.
What causes it?
- Conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or stroke
- Nerve damage
- Lack of mobility in the joint or muscle
- Scarring after an injury or a burn
Contractures can be diagnosed with a physical exam and an X-ray may be needed.
Treatments vary based on a child’s age, type of contracture and current health. Treatments can include:
- Physical therapy
- Surgery, depending on severity and condition
Connect with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.
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