Joint contractures: etiology, pathological anatomy, basic approaches to prevention and treatment


  • O.D. Karpinskaya State Institution “Sytenko Institute of Spine and Joint Pathology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine”, Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • Khasawneh Ayham National Pirogov Memorial Medical University, Vinnytsia, Ukraine
  • G.V. Ivanov State Institution “Sytenko Institute of Spine and Joint Pathology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine”, Kharkiv, Ukraine



joints сontracture, muscular dystrophy, collagenase


Contractures are a loss of joint mobility caused by structural changes in non-bone tissue — muscles, ligaments and tendons. They develop when these normally elastic tissues are replaced by inelastic ones. All this leads to shortening and hardening of these tissues and causes stiffness, deformity of joints and a loss of their mobility, sometimes completely. The work deals with a general overview on the etiology and epidemiology of large joint contractures. Risk factors for the formation of contractures and measures to prevent them are considered, as well as treatment regimens at different stages of contractures development. A protocol for examining patients with contractures is given, the main points during the examination to which the attention should be paid are indicated, and possible research methods are listed, including not only examination of patients, but also visual (magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound) and biomechanical techniques for determining passive and active volumes of movements and strength in the muscles of contralateral joints. The main signs of muscle and spastic (neuromuscular) contractures and approaches to their treatment are given. Conservative physiotherapy methods that mainly consist in passive stretching of the contracted joint, and indications for the use of surgical methods of treatment are briefly described. Indications for the use of collagenase injections are given.


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How to Cite

Karpinskaya, O., Ayham, K., & Ivanov, G. (2022). Joint contractures: etiology, pathological anatomy, basic approaches to prevention and treatment. TRAUMA, 23(1), 62–65.



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