Definition of contracture


A permanent tightening of the muscles, tendons, skin, and nearby tissues that causes the joints to shorten and become very stiff. This prevents normal movement of a joint or other body part. Contractures may be caused by injury, scarring, and nerve damage, or by not using the muscles. It may also occur at some point in time after a stem cell transplant that caused chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms