Treatment of Volkmann’s ischemic contracture

Filip Petković, Sonja Iža, Ines Ivanković


Introduction: Volkman's ischemic contracture is a complication that occurs after a certain trauma and is a consequence of ischemic damage. It is manifested by paresthesias, pallor, pain, and loss of radial artery pulse. Physiotherapy is based on exercises for stretching and relaxing shortened muscles, and is performed after medication and after the acute phase.

Aim: To investigate methods to treat Volkmann›s ischemic contracture.

Materials and methods: Medline databases (PubMed, PubMed Central) and Bibliographic database in Croatian and English were searched by electronic literature search. The key words used for search purposes are neurolysis, trauma, Volkmann’s ischemic contracture.

Results: By the exclusion procedure, 11 original researches related to the research goal of this paper were obtained.

Conclusion: Medicine today provides various methods of treating this condition, from conservative methods to operative methods. Conservative methods can give good results in the case of some mild degrees of Volkman›s ischemic contracture, for every other degree requires some of the techniques of the operative method. It is very important to educate the medical staff and increase the news so that such conditions do not occur. It is recommended that more research be done to prove the effectiveness of these methods in the treatment of Volkmann’s ischemic contracture.


Key words: Volkman›s ischemic contracture, treatment, physiotherapy