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Postburn ankle scar contractures cause functional limitations of all lower extremities and create a serious cosmetic defect, not allowing patients to use normal foot wear, and, therefore, needing surgical reconstruction. The anatomic features of ankle dorsiflexion contractures and their treatment have been covered in the literature far less than other joint contractures, and their treatment is still a challenge for many surgeons. A common treatment method is incisional release of the contracture and defect resurfacing with skin graft. Rarely, distally based sural or free flaps and Ilizarov fixator are used. Anatomy of postburn ankle scar contractures in 55 patients was studied and contractures were surgically treated using a specific approach and technique. Follow-up results were observed from 6 months to 16 years. According to the anatomic features, dorsiflexion scar contractures were divided into three types: edge, medial, and total. Edge contractures were caused by burns and scars located on the lateral or medial ankle surface and were characterized by the presence of the fold along the anterior edge ankle; the skin of the anterior ankle surface was not injured. Medial contractures were caused by scars located on the anterior ankle surface and were characterized by the presence of the fold along the medial ankle line. Total contractures were caused by scars tightly surrounding the ankle. In fold's sheets of edge and medial contractures there is a trapeze-shaped surface deficit in length (cause of contracture) and a surface surplus in width which allows contracture release with local trapezoid flaps. For total contractures, wide scar excision and skin grafting were indicated. Three anatomic types of ankle dorsiflexion scar contractures were identified: edge, medial, and total. An anatomically justified technique for edge and medial contractures is trapeze-flap plasty; total contractures are effectively eliminated with scar excision and skin grafting. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.


Viktor M Grishkevich. Ankle dorsiflexion postburn scar contractures: anatomy and reconstructive techniques. Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries. 2012 Sep;38(6):882-8

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PMID: 22325850

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