Document Type: Original Article
Department of Burns Surgery, Ayatollah Mousavi Hospital, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
Department of Health Education and Promotion, Faculty of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
Department of Anesthesiology, Ayatollah Mousavi Hospital, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
Background: Elbow contracture is a common incidence. It has surgical treatments such as scar release and skin graft, Z or V-Y plasty, and lateral or medial arm flap. In this study, we compared Z-plasty versus Z-plasty and skin grafting in the surgical tensionfree treatment of post-burn elbow contractures.
Methods: 30 patients with elbow joint extension restriction participated in this randomized clinical trial in two groups: experimental (Z-plasty with skin graft) and control (Z-plasty alone) groups. In both groups, Z-plasty was designed with a 60 angle. In the experimental group, the flaps were rotated without tension, and then the upper and lower parts of the flaps were grafted by a midsplit-thickness skin graft. The surgery area was examined regarding infections, wound healing time, necrosis, and scar. Significant differences were evaluated using unpaired student t-test.
Results: Only seven participants in the control group had complications. The statistical analysis of all variables in both groups showed that Z-plasty with skin graft treatment had a significantly better result than the Z-plasty alone (P = 0.006). However, the two groups showed no significant differences in terms of infection, flap tip necrosis, surgery site infection, and feeling of pressure in joint extension or scar recurrence (P = 0.273).
Conclusions: Tension-free flap must be used in patients with mild or moderate wide elbow scar contracture. Combining Z-plasty with skin graft is easy and has better results than Z-plasty alone. It is recommended using this technique in patients with intraoperative flap tension.