Demographic and Burn Injury-Specific Variables Associated with Limited Joint Mobility at Discharge in a Multicenter Study

Jonathan Lensing, Lucy Wibbenmeyer, Junlin Liao, Ingrid Parry, Karen Kowalske, Richard Reg, Jeffrey C. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Burn scar contractures. Existing research on contractures is limited by incomplete analysis of potential contributing variables and differing protocols. This study expands the exploration of contributing variables to include surgery and rehabilitation treatment-related factors. Additionally, this study quantifies direct patient therapy time and patient exposure to rehabilitation prevention therapies. Data from subjects enrolled in the prospective Burn Patient Acuity Demographics, Scar Contractures and Rehabilitation Treatment Related to Patient Outcome Study (ACT) were analyzed to determine variables related to a limited range of motion (limROM) in seven joints and 18 motions (forearm supination) at discharge. Chi-squared and Student's t-test were used accordingly. Multivariate analysis was performed at the patient and joint motion level to control for confounders. Of the 300-member study group, 259 (86.3%) patients had limROM at discharge. Variables independently related to the development of moderate-to-severe limROM on the patient level were larger TBSA, having skin grafted and prolonged bed rest. Variables independently related to moderate-severe limROM on the joint motion level were the percentage of cutaneous functional unit (CFU) burned (P =. 044), increase in the length of stay, weight gain, poor compliance with rehabilitation therapy and lower extremity joint burns. Rates of limROM are increased in patients who had larger burns, required surgery, had a greater percentage of the associated CFU burned, and had lower extremity burns. Attention to adequate pain control to ensure rehabilitation tolerance and early ambulation may also decrease limROM at discharge and quicker return to pre-burn activities and employment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 19 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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