Volkmann's contracture is a condition in which the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues of the forearm are damaged due to a lack of blood supply or prolonged compression. This can result in permanent contracture or shortening of the affected muscles, limiting the range of motion of the fingers, hand, and wrist.
Volkmann's contracture is typically caused by an injury or trauma to the forearm, such as a fracture or crush injury, that damages the blood vessels supplying blood to the forearm muscles. The reduced blood supply can lead to muscle ischemia, which is a lack of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle tissue. This can cause the muscle tissue to die and be replaced by fibrotic tissue, which does not stretch or contract like normal muscle tissue.
Symptoms of Volkmann's contracture include:
Treatment for Volkmann's contracture depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be treated with physical therapy and stretching exercises to improve range of motion and prevent further contracture. More severe cases may require surgery to release the affected muscles and restore function to the hand and wrist.
It is important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of Volkmann's contracture, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent permanent disability.