Nursing Home Complaint Regarding Contractures

A contracture is the shortening of the muscles. It results in a reduction of the range of motion and causes significant pain. It also predisposes nursing home residents to developing a number of other additional problems.

(c) Mobility.
     (1) The facility must ensure that a resident who enters the facility without limited range of motion does not experience reduction in range of motion unless the resident's clinical condition demonstrates that a reduction in range of motion is unavoidable; and
     (2) A resident with limited range of motion receives appropriate treatment and services to increase range of motion and/or to prevent further decrease in range of motion.
     (3) A resident with limited mobility receives appropriate services, equipment, and assistance to maintain or improve mobility with the maximum practicable independence unless a reduction in mobility is demonstrably unavoidable.

42 CFR Part 483.25(c)

The regulation requires the nursing home to prevent loss of range of motion unless it is clinically unavoidable. This is a very high standard for the nursing home to meet, and one of the main causes of the development of contractures in nursing home residents is the failure of the staff to do active and passive range of motion exercises ordered by the resident's doctor.