Parsonage–Turner Syndrome in Second-Degree Contact Burns

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Abstract

Literature on the complications of burns is abundant. However, there is a paucity of literature on Parsonage–Turner syndrome as a complication of contact burns. The authors described the case of a 27-year-old Chinese man who sustained contact burns on the left upper limb and the left side of the chest wall, presenting sharp intense pain and swelling of the left shoulder deriving from the diagnosis of Parsonage–Turner syndrome. On the basis of clinical findings, the authors selected conservative treatment both for the burns and brachial plexus injury. Approximately 10 days postinjury the patient was able to move his upper limb in the same range as the contralateral uninjured limb. The sensory function recovered and the numbness of the upper limb gradually disappeared. This case shows that Parsonage–Turner syndrome can occur even in second-degree burns with a small total body surface area. Therefore, careful physical examination, early recognition, and prompt treatment are essential for recovery of the injured limb.

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