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Volkmann ischemic contracture
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Volkmann ischemic contracture

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Synopsis

Permanent shortening of forearm muscles and damage to nerves due to prolonged lack of blood flow to tissues. Occurs as a complication of undiagnosed compartment syndrome. Incidence is low, and it is more prevalent in children. Characterized by a claw-like appearance of the fingers, hand, and wrist. Typically associated with trauma such as crush injuries, burns, fractures (eg, elbow fracture, supracondylar fracture of humerus), and arterial injuries. Other causes include animal bites, bleeding disorders, burns, excessive exercise, and medication injections. Clinical presentation is defined by five Ps: pain, pallor, pulselessness, paresthesias, and paralysis. Additional features include induration of forearm and firm tissues upon palpation.

In mild cases, contracture may involve two or three fingers and patients may have limited or no loss of feeling. In moderate cases, all fingers are bent and the thumb is stuck in the palm; the wrist may also be bent, and there is typically some loss of feeling in the hand. In severe cases, all muscles of the forearm are affected, and pain experienced can be disabling.

Treatment and prognosis are dependent on stage and severity at the time of diagnosis.

Codes

ICD10CM:
T79.6XXA – Traumatic ischemia of muscle, initial encounter

SNOMEDCT:
111247001 – Volkmann's contracture

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Last Updated: 01/26/2016
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Volkmann ischemic contracture
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Volkmann ischemic contracture : Arm pain, Hand edema, Muscle weakness, Numbness, Monoparesis of arm, Upper extremity edema
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.