Volkmann's contracture

Volkmann's Contracture

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Volkmann's contracture

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Volkmann's contracture, also known as Volkmann's ischaemic contracture, is a permanent flexion contracture of the hand at the wrist, resulting in a claw-like deformity of the hand and fingers. It is more common in children. Passive extension of fingers is restricted and painful. On examination the fingers are white or blue and cold and the radial pulse is absent.


It is named after Dr. Richard von Volkmann (1830 - 1889), the 19th century German doctor who first described it, in a paper on "non-Infective Ischemic conditions of various fascial compartments in the extremities".


Any fracture in elbow region or upper arm may lead to Volkmann's ischemic contracture but commonly caused due to supracondylar fracture of the humerus.

Volkmann's contracture results from acute ischaemia/necrosis of the muscle fibres of the flexor group of muscles of the forearm, specially flexor digitorum profundus and flexor pollicis longus which becomes fibrotic and short.

It is caused by obstruction on the brachial artery near the elbow, possibly from improper use of a tourniquet, improper use...
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