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Description of the Symptom

Contracture has been defined as "a condition of fixed high resistance to passive stretch of a muscle, resulting from fibrosis of the tissues supporting the muscles or the joints, or from disorders of the muscle fibers." It is an abnormal, often permanent shortening of the muscle or scar tissue that results in distortion or deformity. This chapter describes possible causes of joint contractures in a child.

Special Concerns

  • Joint erythema

  • Joint warmth

  • Sudden onset of joint contracture

  • Increased pain within the joint

  • Changes in bony configuration

CHAPTER PREVIEW: Conditions That May Lead to Joint Contractures in a Child
Common Ages at Which Joint Contractures Present in a Child

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