Volkmann ischemic contracture

A Volkmann ischemic contracture refers to a complex and variable flexion deformity involving distal limbs (typically the wrist and fingers) resulting from fibrosis and contracture of flexor muscles.

Clinical presentation

A number of deformities can occur. In the upper extremity, this includes elbow flexion, forearm pronation, wrist flexion, thumb flexion and adduction, digital metacarpophalangeal joint extension, and interphalangeal joint flexion. The affected limb may become dysfunctional, painful and may lose sensitivity. 


It is caused by ischemic injury to the deep tissues enclosed in tight unyielding osteo-facial compartment often secondary to a neglected acute compartment syndrome.

  • forearm and wrist: classically described sites
  • ankle and root: uncommon 6
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Article information

rID: 62884
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Volkmann ischemic contractures
  • Volkmann ischemic contracture
  • Volkmann ischaemic contractures
  • Volkmann's contractures
  • Volkmann's contracture
  • Volkmann contractures
  • Volkmann contracture

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