Dedicated Burn Rehabilitation

Burns are highly complex injuries that can have a major impact on function and quality of life. At the Firefighters Burn Center, every patient has access to a dedicated burn rehabilitation program that is proven restore optimal function and health.

Our services are designed specifically around the challenges of burn injuries, which differ in important ways from other types of injuries. Burns affect nearly every organ in the body and can cause scar tissue that makes smooth, comfortable movement difficult. Because of these factors, specialized rehabilitation services offer the best chance to heal and return to pre-burn activities.

Rehabilitation begins as soon as possible, led by burn-certified therapists who stay by a patient’s side during the acute, intensive care and recovery portions of their treatment. By providing cohesive, person-centered care targeted specifically to burn injuries, we help patients return to independent living at a rate that exceeds national and regional averages. Our patients experience better function, fewer major surgeries and faster healing than those treated at similar facilities.

Your Rehabilitation Journey

Because patients work with the same therapists through their entire continuum of care, we are able to provide services directly tailored to each person’s unique abilities, needs and goals. Burn rehab is by nature an intensive process, and our therapists focus on developing authentic relationships that help them motivate and support patients throughout the rehabilitation journey.

Immediate Intervention

Rehabilitation typically begins within 24 hours of injury. Our therapists’ specialized training allows them to work with patients who are still in intensive care, even if they require a ventilator, dialysis, multiple IVs, catheters, etc. Early intervention such as manual stretching, standing and walking allows patients to reduce reliance on ventilators and other equipment more quickly.

Because a burn impacts nearly every organ in the body, getting patients out of bed and encouraging movement right away is crucial. We help address systemic injury and preserve the strength patients need to heal and engage actively in their own recovery. Patients in intensive care can expect two to three hours of therapy a day divided into condition-appropriate intervals.

A Functional Recovery

As patients become stronger, they are able to participate in therapies that improve their function, scar tissue and overall strength. Patients in our acute care and step-down units participate in five to six hours of therapy a day, all focused on their individual needs.

For burn patients, movement is limited by scar tissue, not orthopedic injury. As burn-certified providers, we use techniques that elongate scar tissue so underlying muscles achieve a pre-burn range of motion. We treat not only the burn, but the surrounding area, to restore smooth, gliding movement. At the same time, our team continues to address a patient’s overall health, helping build pulmonary and cardiovascular endurance, core strength, proper body positioning and more.

Restoring Independence

As patients overcome the acute phase of their injury, they may need additional rehabilitation to fully regain their pre-burn lifestyle. Our inpatient burn rehabilitation program keeps patients on the path to returning to normal activities. We work with patients for five to six hours a day on the specific skills they need for work, personal care, sports, hobbies and more.

A Certified Hand Therapist is available to support patients who need specific therapy for self-care and vocational skills. Our additional expertise helps patients regain the complex positioning, control and functionality of the hand and arm they need to achieve their maximum ability.

Returning Home

A successful discharge and return home is our goal for every patient we treat. We constantly evaluate patients’ discharge options and help with the planning, modifications, and patient and family education required for a safe return to the home setting.

When patients are discharged, we encourage them to continue their rehabilitation with us on an outpatient basis. Scar tissue can take a full year to mature, so it is important to continue working on elongation and loosening to maintain fluid motion. Our outpatient program typically includes three to six hours of therapy a day, depending on a patient’s personal work and living needs.

Your Therapy Team

Our burn therapy specialists are certified by the American Burn Association based on a rigorous process that requires additional training, education and patient care experience. We work hand-in-hand with the burn center’s physician and nursing teams to implement optimal therapy plans, and patients benefit from working with the same providers throughout their treatment.

We approach every patient with not only exceptional expertise, but a desire to listen, encourage and motivate. This allows us to take a patient-focused approach that evolves with each person’s changing medical and rehabilitation needs. Our therapy team includes the following specialties:

  • Burn Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Aides

Our Facility and Technology

Our state-of-the-art facility is located inside the Firefighters Burn Center, creating a comfortable, accessible environment in which rehabilitation can play a role in every step of a patient’s care. We offer the latest technology and equipment designed to improve your strength and endurance, promote mobility and function, and provide space to safely practice real-world activities.

Full-service Rehabilitation Gym

Our facility features the latest equipment and technology for the rehabilitation of burn patients. We offer stretching mats and tables, resistance equipment, stationary bikes, upper extremity bikes, parallel bikes, balance equipment, therapy balls, free weights and more.

Kitchen and Bathroom Practice Facilities

Part of getting patients home is ensuring they can safely complete self-care activities such as cooking, eating, showering and getting dressed. Our rehabilitation facility includes a complete kitchen and bathroom where we work with patients to relearn and practice these skills.

Supportive Equipment

Our therapists design orthotics and splints to help position scar tissue to facilitate and improve range of motion as patients progress. These devices evolve with the patient to promote continual progress. While our goal is to help patients accomplish tasks without adaptive equipment, we can also use our expertise to select the proper adaptive technology and train patients on its use. For patients whose burn injuries require amputation, we provide prosthetic counseling and training.

Patient Outcomes

Our goal and expectation is that every patient will return to work, hobbies and independent life. This is a standard we instill in our providers and the people we treat.

Patients in our program are discharged home at a rate of 90 percent, which is much higher than national and regional averages. Our patients also have a shorter length of stay than those in comparable facilities. We are able to achieve these benchmarks even though we treat some of the most severe burn injuries as the region’s only full-service burn center.

Our intensive rehabilitation approach also means our patients require fewer open reconstructive surgeries than those at most facilities. By addressing injuries and scarring through therapy, we help our patients avoid the risks and recovery time associated with major surgical procedures. In many cases, our patients can undergo an outpatient laser procedure instead of an open surgery.

A burn injury does not dictate your life, and it does not define who you are. At the Firefighters Burn Center, our rehabilitation team understands that every patient is a person with loved ones, interests and goals, and we dedicate ourselves to helping you reclaim what matters to you.

Locations and Contact Info

Firefighters Burn Center

890 Madison Avenue
Ground Floor Turner Tower

Memphis, TN 38103