The Use of a Permanent Dermal Allograft in Full-Thickness Burns of the Hand and Foot: A Report of Three Cases

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The standard method of grafting deep, thermal hand-and-foot burns with either fullthickness sheet grafts or narrowly meshed, thick, split-thickness skin grafts not only leaves a deep donor site, but also becomes complicated by infection, hypertrophic scarring, blistering, and hyper- or hypopigmentation. The availability now of an acellular, immunologically inert dermal transplant (AlloDerm; LifeCell Corp., The Woodlands, Texas) allows the successful use of ultrathin autografts while maximizing the amount of dermis delivered to the wound site. These autografts leave thin donor sites that heal faster and with fewer complications. This case report describes the use of AlloDerm dermal grafts on three patients with full-thickness burns of the distal extremities. Grafts were applied to the hand in two cases and the dorsum of the foot in the third. Range of motion, grip strength, fine motor coordination, and functional performance were quantitatively evaluated. As demonstrated by these patients, cosmetic and functional results were considered good to excellent after the use of AlloDerm grafts with thin autografts.

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