The early release of axillary contractures in pediatric patients with burns

David G Greenhalgh, T. Gaboury, G. D. Warden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In spite of the common teaching that contracture releases should be avoided until scars have matured, the Cincinnati Shriners Burns Institute has been releasing contractures in immature scars to prevent prolonged loss of range of motion. To evaluate the efficacy of axillary releases and, especially, to determine whether releases performed in immature scars were detrimental, axillary releases that were performed between January 1, 1988 and December 31, 1989 were evaluated for improvements in abduction and flexion. Overall, axillary releases significantly improved abduction and flexion, and the improvement was maintained for at least 1 year. Comparison of early (less than 1 year after burn injury) with late (more than 1 year after burn injury) releases revealed that the preoperative limitation was worse in the early release group but that the ultimate outcomes were similar. Waiting for scars to mature before performance of contracture releases is not necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-42
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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