Burn Physiotherapy

Original Editor - Carin Hunter based on the course by ReLab
Top Contributors - Carin Hunter, Kim Jackson and Nupur Smit Shah

Rehabilitation Post Burn Injury[edit | edit source]

Significant improvements in the medical and surgical management of burns has occurred  in the last century. Increased survival rates mean that focus is turning to achieving  optimal functional outcomes.

∙ Burn survivors often suffer from

o permanent scarring, reduced range of motion, weakness, and impaired  functional capacity

o psychological and social problems, which significantly affect their ability to  resume their normal activities post discharge  

∙ Rehabilitation requires a prolonged, dedicated and multidisciplinary effort to optimise  patient outcomes, as inpatients and outpatients.

(Schneider et al 2012; Disseldorp et al 2007; Esselman, 2007)

The aims of the multidisciplinary rehabilitation of a burn include:

∙ Prevention of additional/deeper injuries

∙ Rapid wound closure

∙ Preservation of active and passive ROM

∙ Prevention of infection

∙ Prevention of loss of functional structures

∙ Early functional rehabilitation (Kamolz et al 2009) The physiotherapist may only have a role in achieving some of these goals. ∙ Above all cause no harm.  

Early initiation of rehabilitation is essential to maximise functional outcomes for the patient  

∙ The pain and psychological distress of a burn has a massive impact on compliance o An empathetic, encouraging and understanding approach is necessary  ∙ The urgency and importance of beginning early rehabilitation should be  communicated in a clear but gentle manner (Procter 2010).

References[edit | edit source]