Isolated wedge osteotomy of the ulna for mild Madelung's deformity

J Hand Surg Am. 2007 Sep;32(7):1037-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2007.05.015.


Purpose: Madelung's deformity is a characteristic pattern of anterior-ulnar bowing of the radius and a dorsally prominent ulnar head. Even if this deformity is associated with a certain degree of functional impairment, patients are satisfied with their function and mainly complain about the appearance of their wrists. The purpose of this study was to report a new surgical procedure (shortening combined with a slight anterior angulation osteotomy of the ulna) aiming to improve the appearance of the wrist and to relieve pain if present without compromising the function of the wrist. This technique is suitable for mild cases of Madelung's deformity.

Methods: This is a retrospective study of 4 wrists in 3 patients. All patients had a mild form of Madelung's deformity (without any dislocation of the lunate). Even if it was not their primary motivation to have surgery, all of the patients preoperatively experienced some wrist pain. An anterior angulation and shortening osteotomy of the ulna shaft was performed through a dorsal medial approach and fixed with a dynamic compression plate.

Results: At 24 months follow-up, all of the patients were satisfied with the appearance of their wrists and forearms. The distal radioulnar joint was congruent radiologically in all cases, and the range of active pain-free forearm rotation improved.

Conclusions: This technique seems to be safe and reliable in mild cases of Madelung's deformity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / surgery
  • Bone Plates
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Radius / abnormalities
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ulna / abnormalities
  • Ulna / surgery*
  • Wrist Joint / abnormalities*
  • Wrist Joint / surgery*