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Burn and other injuries may heal but leave the patient with contractures in different parts of the body. Contracture refers to tight scars that cause deformities and prevent the limb from moving through the full range of action.

In general, if a wound [especially if it is deep] crosses a joint, there is a high risk of contracture. The longer the wound took to heal the greater the risk. The good news is that contractures are eminently treatable and in fact are some of the most satisfying surgeries to do. The surgeon releases the tight scar fully and may then repair it by skin grafting or by clever use of skin re-arrangements like Z plasty or VY plasty. Rarely flaps and tissue expanders will be required for more complex cases.

Children often develop contractures if they have suffered burn injury, particularly in infancy. It is almost impossible to prevent some contractures in such young age. Again the good news is that these are eminently treatable.

Post-operative splinting is of paramount importance in preventing recurrence, such splints may have to be worn for 6 months.