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Physical Deformity as Sequela of Chronic Catatonia and Response to Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Case Report

Devi, Sugnyani MBBS*; Behere, Rishikesh V. MD; Varambally, Shivarama MD*; Rao, Naren P. MD*; Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan MD*; Gangadhar, Bangalore N. MD*

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3182107172
Online Articles

Chronic catatonia with posturing can cause joint contractures leading to greater morbidity associated with the physical deformity. We report a case of a young man with chronic catatonic schizophrenia with posturing of bilateral upper limbs in flexion leading to fixed flexion contracture of left metacarpophalangeal joints. Initiation of electroconvulsive therapy along with physical rehabilitation measures helped him regain full range of motion in the right upper limb. The fixed flexion contracture, however, remained resistant to intensive treatment efforts. Early interventions in the form of electroconvulsive therapy and physical rehabilitation can be useful in reversing such potentially disabling complications.

From the *Department of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal; and †Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India.

Received for publication November 19, 2010; accepted January 14, 2011.

Reprints: Rishikesh V. Behere, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal 576104, India (e-mail:

There are no financial disclosures from any of the authors related to this article.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.