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Burn Rehabilitation of the Upper Extremity

presented by Patty Anderson

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How is a burn wound of the upper extremity effectively managed? What are the properties of the burn scar development that challenge the successful rehabilitation of the upper extremity? This course will examine the unique properties of burn wounds and scar development. Discussion of burn wound healing, contracture development, scar maturation processes, and orthotic management will assist the clinician in treating upper extremity burn injuries effectively.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Patty Anderson, OTR/L, CHT

    Patricia Anderson OTR/L, CHT has over three decades of clinical experience, with emphasis and specialization in burn and orthopedic care. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University, School of Occupational Therapy in 1980 and received her Certification in Hand Therapy in 2002. She has worked in the acute, sub-acute and outpatient setting at Tampa General Hospital, a level one trauma center and home to Tampa Bay Regional Burn Center. She has dedicated much of her professional life to the many aspects of burn care and rehabilitation. She been an active member of the American Burn Association and has served on their Educational Committee and as a Chairman of the OT/PT Special Interest Group. She is a Certified Instructor for SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) with the Phoenix Society, an international society for burn survivors. In addition she helped to develop and was coordinator for Tampa General Hospital’s burn support group. In addition to her clinical work, Patricia has been an educator for continuing education courses and workshops at local, national and international conferences. She provides burn rehabilitation education for the University of South Florida Physical Therapy Program. She was a co-author of burn chapters in two publications for hand rehabilitation books.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. The Burn Injury

    1. The Burn Injury

    This chapter will cover the various causes of a burn injury and how the injury is classified for severity. Discussion on how the burn wound is managed in order to obtain wound closure will be covered. Information for a clinician to determine which burn wounds are at risk for forming hypertrophic scar will be discussed.

  2. Burn Scar

    2. Burn Scar

    This chapter will compare the properties of uninjured skin to burn scar including elasticity, sensation, tensile strength, and lubrication. The scar maturation process and timeline will be reviewed to give the clinician a guideline of what to expect from the burn scar at different phases of maturation. Evaluating and documenting the scar will also be included.

  3. Burn Scar Complex

    3. Burn Scar Complex

    We'll cover the difference in elasticity of skin and burn scar as it relates to movement in the body. The chapter will explain why joint contractures occur in burn injury and how to identify them effectively.

  4. Upper Extremity Exercises and Stretches

    4. Upper Extremity Exercises and Stretches

    In this chapter we will demonstrate stretching exercises to effectively stretch the burn injury of the UE and preserve the length of the burn scar.

  5. Common Deformities and Contractures of the Upper Extremity

    5. Common Deformities and Contractures of the Upper Extremity

    Deformities and contractures are often seen in burns to the UE. The information presented will assist the clinician in anticipating what limitations will occur in the UE and be proactive in determining treatment.

  6. Orthotic Management of the Burned Upper Extremity

    6. Orthotic Management of the Burned Upper Extremity

    This chapter will provide information to assist the clinician in deciding what orthotics to fabricate in order to achieve optimal stretch on the burn scar. Discussion will include different fabrication materials and wearing schedule.