Ann Burns Fire Disasters 2018 Dec;31(4):306-312
Department of Plastic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Qena University Hospital, South Valley University, Egypt.
Post-burn contractures, affecting the joints especially, are demanding problems. Many surgical techniques have been designated for burn contracture release. The aim of this study is to investigate the efficiency of the square flap technique to release a post-burn scar contracture, and assess the post-operative length gain that can be achieved by simple mathematical calculation. In this study, sixteen patients with linear contracture bands were treated with the square flap technique. The anatomical distribution of the contractures was: axilla, cubital fossa, flank, perineum and popliteal fossa. Scar maturity ranged from 4 months - 9 years. Square flap width and contracture band length before and immediately after surgery were recorded by simple mathematical calculation. Flap complication was assessed. Patient satisfaction was also assessed during the follow-up period. All square flaps were effective in lengthening the contracture bands. The length of the contracture that was released ranged from 2 to 6 cm. The gain in length provided with this technique ranged from 212 to 350%, average 247%, and adequate contracture release was achieved in all cases postoperatively. All square flaps healed uneventfully except for one (6%), which demonstrated limited epidermolysis that healed by secondary intention. The follow-up interval ranged from 6 months to 1.5 years. Patients or their parents were satisfied with the results of the operations in terms of skin tightness and aesthetic results. The square flap method was shown to be a simple technique and easy to replicate. It has good lengthening potential and is effective in releasing contracture bands on long-term follow-up.