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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-35

Management of postburn contractures of upper extremities: A general surgeon's perspective

Department of Plastic Surgery and General Surgery, Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Bharat Bhushan Dogra
Department of Plastic Surgery, Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-653X.195524

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Introduction: Postburn contracture (PBC) is one of the common sequelae encountered after burns in general surgical practice. Surgical management of such deformities involves release of contracture followed by cover by skin graft or skin flap. Optimum management of PBCs has always been a challenge to the surgeon because of paucity of adequate healthy skin in the affected areas. Various operative techniques are available, and the surgeon has to decide which particular technique will be more suitable for a particular patient. We have employed the techniques of release by Z-plasty, and release and skin grafting in managing PBC involving upper extremity, and this study is based on our experience with these techniques. Aims and Objective: The study was carried out to evaluate the frequency of different PBCs involving upper extremities and comparing the relatively simpler techniques of release of contracture and cover by skin grafting and Z-plasty, which can be undertaken by a general surgeon as well. Materials and Methods: A total of 100 cases having PBC of upper extremities of more than 6 months duration were included in this study. Complex contractures of hands involving tendons and joints were excluded from this study. Linear contractures were managed by single or multiple Z-plasty techniques whereas patients having wider and dense scars were managed by release/excision of scar and cover by skin grafting. Observations: The mean visual analog score for patient satisfaction was 8.06 for Z-plasty group versus 5.33 for split skin grafting (SSG) group. The mean stay for patients who had undergone Z-plasty was 9.40 days as compared to 15 days for SSG. Conclusion: Contracture release with local flap cover was better technique in relation to patient satisfaction, recurrence of deformity, hospital stay, and time taken for rehabilitation.

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