Results of early excision and full-thickness grafting of deep palm burns in children

T. N. Pham, C. Hanley, Tina L Palmieri, David G Greenhalgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The timing and method of treatment of deep palm and finger burns varies widely. Our protocol involves performing full-thickness skin grafts (FTSG) in nonhealing palm burns. We reviewed the functional and cosmetic results after FTSG to the palm. From August 1997 to April 1999, 11 patients (12 palms) underwent excision and FTSG within 2 weeks of injury. A panel of medical and nonmedical professionals evaluated follow-up pictures of the grafts at 1, 2 to 4, and beyond 4 months. Parameters used for evaluation were color match with the unburned skin (1 = no difference to 4 = large difference), graft thickness (1 = flat to 4 = markedly raised), overall appearance (1 = poor to 100 = excellent), and time to maturity. Hand function, as assessed by occupational therapy notes, was also recorded. All 12 grafted palms had a 100% take and healed with minimal scarring. Mean color match scores were 2.4 at 1 month, 1.8 at 2 to 4 months, and 1.6 beyond 4 months. On the graft thickness scale, grafts were given scores of 2.6, 2.2, and 1.9 during the same intervals. The overall appearance was 71 at 1 month, 81 at 2 to 4 months, and 85 beyond 4 months. All grafts except 1 were judged to be mature at 2 to 4 months follow-up. Full passive range of motion was attained in all grafted hands within the period of 2 to 4 months after operation. Early excision and FTSG of deep pediatric palm burns can be performed in the outpatient setting. The grafts have an acceptable color match, are minimally raised, and achieve excellent cosmetic result. The grafts mature within a few months after surgery to allow for rapid return to normal range of motion. FTSG should be considered as a first choice for deep palm burns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-57
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Emergency Medicine


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