Contractures can complicate burn recovery. There are limited studies examining the prevalence of contractures following burns in pediatrics. This study investigates contracture outcomes by location, injury, severity, length of stay, and developmental stage. Data were obtained from the Burn Model System between 1994 and 2003. All patients younger than the age of 18 with at least one joint contracture at hospital discharge were included. Sixteen areas of impaired movement from the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, and ankle joints were examined. Analysis of variance was used to assess the association between contracture severity, burn size, and length of stay. Age groupings were evaluated for developmental patterns. A P value of less than .05 was considered statistically significant. Data from 225 patients yielded 1597 contractures (758 in the hand) with a mean of 7.1 contractures (median 4) per patient. Mean contracture severity ranged from 17% (elbow extension) to 41% (ankle plantarflexion) loss of movement. Statistically significant associations were found between active range of motion loss and burn size, length of stay, and age groupings. The data illustrate quantitative assessment of burn contractures in pediatric patients at discharge in a multicenter database. Size of injury correlates with range of motion loss for many joint motions, reflecting the anticipated morbidity of contracture for pediatric burn survivors. These results serve as a potential reference for range of motion outcomes in the pediatric burn population, which could serve as a comparison for local practices, quality improvement measures, and future research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine