Reconstruction of burn scar contracture deformity of the extremities using thin thoracodorsal artery perforator free flaps

Lan Sook Chang, Youn Hwan Kim, Sang Wha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Severe burn scar contracture of the extremities, especially the joint areas, causes aesthetic problems and functional limitation. Release of burn scar contractures requires complete removal of the scars and resurfacing of the resulting defects. Here, we describe thoracodorsal artery perforator (TDAP) free flaps for reconstructing burn scar contractures. Methods: Between August 2013 and July 2018, 25 patients with severe burn scar contractures of the extremities underwent reconstruction using TDAP free flaps. Twelve were men and the mean age of the patients was 38.1 years (range, 12–66 years). Five patients had upper extremity contractures and 20 had lower extremity contractures. Results: Twenty-one patients underwent reconstruction with a TDAP flap alone, while three received two perforator flaps, a TDAP and an anterolateral thigh flap or deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap. The remaining patient received three perforator flaps, two TDAP and an anterolateral thigh flap. Fourteen patients had an improved range of motion after reconstruction. All the flaps survived except in the case of four patients who suffered partial loss of a TDAP flap. In one patient, there was partial skin graft loss at the donor site. The mean follow-up was 17.2 months (range 6–36 months). Conclusion: Ideal reconstruction of burn scar contracture yielding functional and aesthetic results involves complete removal of scar tissue and reconstruction. Depending on the extent of the defect, the TDAP flap, with its thin and pliable tissue and minimal donor site morbidity, may be the best option for reconstruction of burn scar contracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E578-E583
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2021 Sep


  • burn
  • free tissue transfer
  • reconstruction
  • scar


Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstruction of burn scar contracture deformity of the extremities using thin thoracodorsal artery perforator free flaps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this