Analysis of the Structure of Contractures of the Upper Limb Joints
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contractures; upper extremity; joints; gunshot wounds; ischemic injuries; relationships.

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Strafun, S., Bezuhlyi, A., Tymoshenko, S., Strafun, O., Bohdan, S., Haiovych, I., Lysak, A., & Yuriichuk, L. (2021). Analysis of the Structure of Contractures of the Upper Limb Joints . Herald of Orthopaedics, Traumatology and Prosthetics, (3(110), 4-12.


Summary. Analysis of the restrictions in the amplitude of movements in the joints is traditionally considered from the standpoint of individual nosologies that cause them, but the systemic results of the inverse syndromological approach to the study of contractures are published only sporadically.

Objective: to determine the structure, causes, nature, and severity of contractures of the upper extremity joints.

Materials and Methods. The structure of contractures of the upper extremity joints as the consequences of injuries and diseases was analyzed on a large array of patients (16,710 patients). Distribution by location, etiology, severity of contracture, gender and age, and relationships between type and localization of contracture were assessed. The dynamics of the development of contractures and the number of necessary surgical interventions was traced.

Results. Restriction of movements in the upper extremity joints was registered in 5,450 out of 16,710 (32.6%) patients; among them there were 3,485 male (63.9%) and 1,965 (36.1%) female patients. During reconstructive treatment, 7,892 surgeries were performed. Most often these were contractures of the finger joints (42.5%), then shoulder (26.9%), elbow (13.4%), carpal joint (13.3%), less often – radioulnar contractures (3.9%). The elbow, radioulnar and carpal joint contractures most often are caused by osteo-cartilaginous lesions; a polyetiological component is typical for the finger joints. The shoulder joint contractures may be caused evenly by desmogenic, myogenic, or osteo-cartilaginous lesions. Most of the joint contractures are of moderate severity. Contractures of the fingers require multi-stage surgical treatment (1.91±1.35 surgeries); one-stage treatment is used for contractures of the shoulder joint (1.34±0.81 surgeries). The most polystructural lesions were combat wounds, ischemic, and finger contractures (2.53±1.22; 2.52±1.34 and 2.5±1.24 structures, respectively), and the least – radioulnar contractures (1.59±1.34 structures). Radioulnar contractures in 37.3% of cases are accompanied by contractures of the fingers, but vice versa only in 1.2%. It was noted that contractures of the radioulnar joints are often accompanied by restriction of movements in the elbow and wrist joints – in 34.9 and 56.6% of cases, respectively. At the same time, the inverse dependence of the combination of contractures in the wrist and elbow joints with radioulnar joints is not very high – 4.2% and 6% of cases, respectively.

Conclusions. In patients who are hospitalized for highly specialized surgical treatment of pathology of the upper extremity, contractures of its joints are moderate and severe, characterized by polyetiology, and, in most cases, caused by disorders of osteo-cartilaginous structures and their combination with desmogenic, tenogenic, and myogenic lesions. Specific relationships are traced in localization and mutual burden of contractures, rapidity of their progression. As a rule, upper limb contractures are chronic ones and require multi-stage surgical treatment.
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