Comprehensive management of hot-press hand injuries: Long-term outcomes following reconstruction and rehabilitation

Charles Scott Hultman, Kamil Erfanian, James Fraser, Sydney J. Thornton, Catherine S. Calvert, Bruce A. Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hot-press hand injuries create significant challenges, in terms of acute coverage and restoration of function, and long-term outcomes are largely unknown. This article reviews the comprehensive management of hot-press hand injuries-which includes damage control procedures, resurfacing, reconstruction, and rehabilitation-and assesses outcomes such as return to work and final impairment ratings.We treated 56 patients with hot-press hand injuries, at a verified, accredited burn center in the Southeast between 1994 and 2008. Mechanism included laundry press (42 cases), industrial press (11 cases), and home appliance (3 cases). Mean burn size was 118 cm, with 43 full-thickness and 13 partial thickness injuries. Mean follow-up was 17.7 months.During this 15-year period, 39 patients (70%) were admitted acutely (mean length of stay: 10.4 days), 48 patients (86%) required operative intervention, and 28 patients (50%) had secondary reconstruction, which included nerve decompression (11 cases), contracture release (11 cases), tendon procedures (11 cases), and joint repair (5 cases). Mean final impairment rating was 22%, with 38 patients (68%) returning to work.Hot-press hand burns can be devastating, but return to work is possible for most patients. We recommend early wound excision, aggressive perioperative hand therapy, low threshold for reconstructive procedures, and rehabilitative support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-558
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Burns
  • Hand injury
  • Hot press
  • Reconstruction
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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