The patient had had a work-related accident, causing over 60% burns, followed by several complications. Post-traumatic physiotherapy was started in May 2019.

The user experience of the LymphaTouch device is related to scar tissue formation caused by skin grafts (own and artificial skin), and treatment of lack in the range of motion caused by it. The burns dorsally on the hands where extensive and required therefore many skin grafts and artificial skin. The flexion of the fingers was constrained, fingertips reached approx. 6 cm from the palm. Active movement was possible, but the tension in the scar tissue restrained both active and passive movement. The scar tissues on the back of the hands where very rough.

Between May 2019 and November 2020, the physiotherapy of the hands was moderate mobilisation due to the thinness of the skin. By December 2020, the skin had strengthened enough to start treatment with LymphaTouch. The device was used as a pre-treatment initially at 80 mmHg with pulsating 35 mm treatment cup. Physiotherapy was once a week.

After only a few treatments, the patient’s spouse had noticed smoother skin. Although this was not the main achievement of the physiotherapy, it was still an important observation. After the treatments, the range of motion of the fingers began to improve, and a steady increase in negative pressure up to 120 mmHg combined with mechanical vibration was achieved.

With the help of physiotherapy and LymphaTouch, the range of movement was increased. Left-hand fingers flexion was achieved to reach approx. 1 cm from the palm and the limitation of the movement doesn’t significantly affect the activities of daily living. The right hand fingers have less flexion due to more abundant scar tissue, but finger functionality has returned; skin elasticity and flexibility of the scar tissue allows smooth use of tools and everyday activities.

Practical observations: In the beginning it was difficult to obtain a tight contact between the treatment cup and the back of the hand. The contact improved, when the therapist pushed the metacarpal bones of the patient with his fingers from the palm side towards the treatment cup. It is not necessary anymore. The smaller size of the treatment cups enables a tighter contact.

The user experience was shared by Ilkka Heikkilä, occupational health physiotherapist, Fysikaalinen hoitolaitos Friski.