The effect of lower body burns on physical function

Nicole C. Benjamin, Clark R. Andersen, David N. Herndon, Oscar E. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective To attenuate burn-induced catabolism, patients are often enrolled in a resistance exercise program as part of their physical rehabilitation. This study assessed how lower body burn locations affected strength and cardiopulmonary function. Methods Children enrolled in an exercise study between 2003 and 2013, were 7-18 years of age, and burned ≥30% of their total body surface area were included. Analysis of variance was used to model the relationship of lower body strength (PTW) and cardiopulmonary function (VO2peak) due to burns which traverse the subject's lower body joints. Results There was a significant relationship between PTW and burns at the hip and toe joints, showing a 26 N m/kg (p = 0.010) and 33 N m/kg (p = 0.013) decrease in peak torque, respectively. Burns at the hip joint corresponded to a significant decrease in VO2peak by 4.9 ml kg-1 min-1 (p = 0.010) in peak cardiopulmonary function. Conclusion Physical function and performance are detrimentally affected by burns that traverse specific lower body joints. The most significant relationship on exercise performance was that of hip joint burns as it affected both strength and cardiopulmonary measurements. Ultimately, burns at hip and toe joints need to be considered when interpreting exercise test results involving the lower body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1653-1659
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2015


  • Burn
  • Exercise
  • Joint
  • Lower body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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