INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine the degree of ROM limitations of extremities, joints and planes of motion after burns and its prevalence over time.

METHOD: The database of a longitudinal multicenter cohort study in the Netherlands (2011-2012) was used. From patients with acute burns involving the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle joints that had surgery, ROM of 17 planes of motion was assessed by goniometry at 3, 6 weeks, 3-6-9 and 12 months after burns and at discharge.

RESULTS: At 12 months after injury, 12 out of 17 planes of motion demonstrated persistent joint limitations. The five unlimited planes of motion were all of the lower extremity. The most severely limited joints at 12 months were the neck, ankle, wrist and shoulder. The lower extremity was more severely limited in the early phase of recovery whereas at 12 months the upper extremity was more severely limited.

CONCLUSION: The degree of ROM limitations and prevalence varied over time between extremities, joints and planes of motion. This study showed which joints and planes of motion should be watched specifically concerning the development of scar contracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-318
Number of pages10
JournalBurns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • burns
  • cohort studies
  • contracture/epidemiology
  • humans
  • range of motion, articular
  • upper extremity


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