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Ripple effect: How tension from adjacent burn scars affects shoulder joint movement

Vita TU, Occupational Therapist and Project Manager

Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation

adjacent burn scars

In online courses like “The Impact of Scar Contracture on Multiple Joints”, as well as in previous blog posts, we've consistently highlighted the integral connection between joint movement and the surrounding skin. The continuous nature of the skin means that when a joint is in motion, it's not just the local skin that stretches—it's a collaborative effort involving adjacent areas.


A basic concern in burn rehabilitation is the profound effect of burn scars on joint mobility. Contrary to normal skin, scars lack the ability to stretch adequately. Surprisingly, a scar need not be directly on a joint to impede its movement. A patient may experience noticeable issues with joint mobility despite the absence of apparent scars in the surrounding skin. The culprit? Uneven tension from adjacent burn scars or scars located further elsewhere.


In this short video, we’ll demonstrate how skin tension caused by scars can affect joint movements, with a specific focus on shoulder joint.

This case video underscores two crucial points for scar management and joint exercises. Firstly, when joints are in motion, it's not just the local skin that stretches—adjacent areas also play a pivotal role. Secondly, even skin without hypertrophic scars can be influenced by surrounding scars, leading to joint movement restrictions.

1 Comment

Unknown member
Jun 22

It is good initiatives for us. Thanks.

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