Definition of contracture in English:



mass nounMedicine
  • A condition of shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue, often leading to deformity and rigidity of joints.

    ‘contracture of the hip in cerebral palsy’
    count noun ‘the contractures had been caused by intramuscular injections’
    • ‘This minimises the risk of wound contracture causing ectropion.’
    • ‘Forearm and lower leg measurements cross joints and could be affected by joint deformity such as contracture.’
    • ‘In capsular contracture, scar tissue forms around the breast implant and contracts, which can result in pain and loss of breast contour.’
    • ‘General management of the arthritic process is important, with physiotherapy to prevent joint contracture.’
    • ‘During the immobilization of a fracture, all nonimmobilized parts must be moved to avoid stiffness, muscle atrophy and joint contractures.’


Mid 17th century: from French, or from Latin contractura, from Latin contract- ‘drawn together’, from the verb contrahere.