Local oedema is prevalent in the initial days following burn injury. It interferes with tissue perfusion and wound healing by increasing the diffusion distance between capillaries and cells. Oedema also hinders joint mobilization and range of motion of the affected area. Efforts should be made to minimise the affects of oedema including:
- Do not apply tight circumferential unyielding bandages after burn injury.
- Elevate the affected part of the body in the days following injury.
- Use slings and pillows to position and elevate the affected limb.
- If injury occurs to the lower limb, patients should elevate the leg/foot at rest.
- Encourage functional activity and range of motion exercises.
- Elastic compression (eg tubigrip).