A muscle always contracts during inflammation, and hence in inflammation of the muscles, care should be taken to keep the inflamed muscle extended, and thus prevent contraction. The contraction of tendons is also the result of inflammation or long-continued pressure.

The membrane, or fascia, beneath the skin also frequently contracts in consequence of inflammation. Various forms of contraction and deformity often result, which are only relieved by division of the contracted parts. The division should generally be made by a small knife introduced beneath the skin so that an open wound is not made. Sometimes quite a number of incisions are necessary. When small tendons are divided, the extension of the contracted parts should be gradual. In case of large tendons, the parts may be at once forcibly restored to a proper condition and held there by means of splints and bandages. The division of tendons is known as tenotomy.

Contracted muscles also often require division in the same way. Contractions of the skin frequently occur in consequence of deep burns.

This should be prevented as far as possible by holding the parts in proper position and resisting the tendency to contraction. Contractions of of this sort generally soften and become more elastic after a few months. In some cases it is necessary for a surgeon to dissect out the contracted bands, supplying their place with healthy skin from the adjacent parts.