A contracture is a shortening of a muscle or tendon in the human body in response to stress exerted on that muscle or tendon. Contractures can occur at any joint of the body.
Muscle imbalance, Immobilization of joint, Trauma, injury, disease, Nerve injury, stroke, damage to muscle, tendon, or ligament, burn, etc.
Sign & Symptoms:
Significant loss of motion, Pain, the joint can’t be move in its full Range of Motion.
If not treated complication may lead to deformity, such as Pes Equinus, Dupuytren’s deformity, Scoliosis, etc. Leg length discrepancy may also occur.
Orthotic treatment of severe contracture is usually post-operative treatment, to maintain to surgically corrected contractures. In mild to moderate contracture, sometime surgical intervention is not necessary. Orthotic treatment can be prescribed side by side with physiotherapy treatment. In some cases, serial static orthosis, static motion block or dynamic motion block orthosis can be prescribe to reduce the contracture. It is better to use long lever arm in the application of orthosis, to achieve better pressure distribution.
The objective of orthotic intervention should be follow, those are:
• to provide stability
• To stop movement in the direction of contracture, but allow the movement opposite to contracture
The contracture patient may need serial type of orthosis according to location of contracture. For lower limb: AFO, KO, KAFO, HKAFO etc. For upper limb: EWHO, EO, Wrist resting hand orthosis, etc.