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Postburn shoulder medial-adduction contracture: anatomy and treatment with trapeze-flap plasty

Postburn shoulder medial-adduction contracture: anatomy and treatment with trapeze-flap plasty

Burns 39(2): 341-348

Shoulder-adduction contractures after burn, most frequent among big joints, cause functional deficiency of the upper limb and, therefore, benefits from surgical correction. Many reconstructive techniques and flaps have been suggested for contracture treatment, but the problem in choosing an adequate reconstructive technique based on the anatomy of the contracture remains. Shoulder-adduction contracture has been given less emphasis in research than any other type and its surgical reconstructive technique remains of concern. Anatomic features of scar shoulder-adduction contractures were studied in 346 patients, personally operated upon. This allowed us to classify all contractures into three types: edge, medial and total. New surgical techniques specifically for medial contractures were developed. Eighty percent of patients had edge contractures in which the axillary fossa was spared. In 20% of patients, axilla, including the hairy dome, was involved. These cases were anatomically classified into two types: medial, making up 30% of the cases, when contracted scars involved only axilla, and total caused by scars, tightly surrounding the shoulder joint. The scars, causing medial contracture, form a crescent-shaped fold along the medial axillary line. The fold's sheets are scars in which there is skin surface surplus in width, which allows the contracture release with local tissues. Surface deficiency in length has a trapezoid form. Medial contracture can be successfully treated with opposite transposition of trapezoid adipose-scar flaps prepared from both sheets of the fold. Medial shoulder-adduction contracture is a newly described type with specific anatomic features. Contracture can be successfully treated with local tissues using trapeze-flap plasty.

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Accession: 036604204

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PMID: 23040880

DOI: 10.1016/j.burns.2012.06.002

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