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Therapy exercises after a hip burn injury

It is important to exercise your joints after a burn injury. If the skin over or near a joint has been damaged by a burn, it has the potential to become tight and eventually contract.

A contracture is a lack of movement at the joint and this will happen if it is not exercised regularly leading to the joint becoming stiff and limiting your everyday activities. It is always better to prevent a joint contracture from occurring than it is to treat it.

If a contracture develops, another surgery may be needed.

What should I do?

During your treatment you will have carried out some exercises with the therapist. It is very important that you continue your exercises at home.

These should be carried out little and often throughout the day to prevent stiffness. Using your limbs for normal daily activities such as getting dressed and walking will help maintain movement and reduce stiffness. We would advise you to carry on with hobbies as discussed with your therapist as these will help to improve movement.

When you are lying in bed, it is important that you keep your affected leg straight and do not place any pillows under your knees, as this can increase your risk of contractures.

When your burn wound has healed, as advised, use an unperfumed cream to moisturise and massage the area 2 to 3 times a day to keep your skin supple which will help with your stretches at home. It is very important that the old cream is washed off before applying more.

Exercises

Exercise 1

Lie on the floor or bed with both legs straight.

Photograph of person laid down on their back with their legs outstretched

Bend the affected leg at the knee so that your foot is flat on the floor.

Photograph of person laid on their back with one leg outstretched and the other knee in the air with their foot flat on the ground

Then put your arms around your knee and pull the knee closer to your body as far as you can.

Photograph of person laid on their back with one leg outstretched and their other knee up towards their chest and pulling it in with their hands to stretch their leg

Hold this position for seconds.

Then relax by straightening your leg.

Photograph of person laid down on their back with their legs outstretched

Repeat times.

Exercise 2

Lie on the floor or bed with both of your knees bent with your feet hip width apart.

Photograph of person laid flat on their back with their knees up and their feet on the floor relaxed

Allow your affected knee to fall out to the side as far as it can go.

Photograph of person laid on their back with their knees going outward and their feet near their bottom to stretch out their thighs

Hold this position for seconds.

Then relax by allowing your knees to return to the middle.

Photograph of person laid flat on their back with their knees up and their feet on the floor relaxed

Repeat times.

Exercise 3

Lie on the floor or bed with both of your knees bent with your feet hip width apart.

Photograph of person laid flat on their back with their knees up and their feet on the floor relaxed

Straight your affected leg by sliding your leg out to the side as far as you can.

Photograph of person laid on their back with one knee up and their foot near their bottom, while the other leg is outstretched

Hold this position for seconds.

Then relax by allowing your leg to return to the middle.

Photograph of person laid flat on their back with their knees up and their feet on the floor relaxed

Repeat times.

Contact us

Sheffield Children’s Burns Therapy 0114 271 7148.

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Disclaimer

Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

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NHS

Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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