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Burn Injuries

The result of fire, scalding, or electrical / chemical contact.

Understanding Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are often the result of fire, scalding, or electrical / chemical contact. The extent of the injury is measured by the amount of the body that is involved as well as the depth of the burn. The results of burn injuries can lead to contractures (joint stiffness) that can affect growth and movement.


Compression therapy is an orthotic treatment that can greatly reduce the effects of burns. This is used to prevent hypertrophic scarring (severe, raised scarring) and is usually used when there are no open wounds.

Wearing time for the compression therapy is anywhere from 6-12 months, or as long as the burn team feels the burns are still “active”. Active refers to the state in which the burn is still healing and can change into hypertrophic scarring.

Compression therapy is widely viewed as essential to minimize scarring. The theory behind compression therapy is to reduce the blood flow to the area of the burn, as well as to apply continuous pressure to the burn to stop the growth of scar tissue. It is important to note that compression therapy is just one part of the rehabilitation of burn injuries. Your burn team will most likely include splinting (bracing), exercise, and scar mobility as part of the plan.

1. Atiyeh, B S et al. “Pressure garment therapy (PGT) of burn scars: evidence-based efficacy.” Annals of burns and fire disasters vol. 26,4 (2013): 205-12.
2. Krishnamoorthy, Vijay et al. “Pediatric burn injuries.” International journal of critical illness and injury science vol. 2,3 (2012): 128-34.

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