If a Person has Contractures, are They at an Increased Likelihood for Developing Bed Sores?
By Nursing Home Law Center
Contractures are a medical condition where a joint is held in a fixed position due to the shortening of a muscle or tendon due to stress exerted on the muscle or spasticity (uncontrolled muscle movement). Older patients and those with limited mobility are especially prone to develop contractures. Contractures most commonly form in the hands, feet, arms and legs.
Once an individual has developed contractures, little can be done to alleviate the problem aside from aggressive orthopedic surgery. Consequently, medical facilities (hospitals and nursing homes) should provide physical and occupational therapy to people who are at risk for developing contractures and to keep the body flexible.
Once a person has developed contractures they are at a heightened risk for developing bed sores due to their bodies limited ability to move– with or without assistance. The rigidity that accompanies contractures generally means that many of the repositioning techniques commonly used to prevent bed sores may be unfeasible. As a general rule, the more immobile an individual is, the higher likelihood they have in developing bed sores.