Contracture is a common complication of burn injury and can cause significant barriers to functional recovery and rehabilitation. There are limited studies of quantitative range of motion after burn injury. The purpose of this study is to examine quantitative contracture outcomes by anatomical location, burn size, and length of stay in adults. Data were obtained from the Burn Model System National Database from 1994 to 2003. All adult patients with a joint contracture at acute discharge were included and 16 joint motions were examined. Contractures were reported as both mean absolute loss of normal range of motion in degrees and percent loss of normal range of motion. Analysis of variance was used to assess for a linear trend for contracture severity by burn size and length of stay. Data from 659 patients yielded 6,228 instances of contracture. Mean absolute loss of normal range of motion ranged from 20° to 65° representing an 18 to 45% loss of normal movement across the studied joint motions. In the majority of joint motions, contracture severity significantly increased with larger burn size and longer length of stay; however, wrist and many lower extremity joint movements did not demonstrate this trend. The data illustrate the quantitative assessment of range of motion deficits in adults with burn injury at discharge and the relation to burn size and length of stay.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine