Background: The aim of this study was to quantify the compensatory movements of the shoulder and elbow in patients with congenital radioulnar synostosis during 10 activities of daily living (ADL).
Methods: Maximum and minimum joint angles and range of motion were measured by use of a motion capture system in seven patients and seven matched controls. The forearm was fixed in 0 degrees of rotation in four patients and in 20 degrees of pronation in three patients.
Results: The main compensatory movements were shoulder internal/external rotation during five ADL tasks, shoulder abduction/adduction and elbow flexion/extension during three tasks, and shoulder flexion/extension during two tasks. These compensatory movements were observed mainly when turning a key and drawing.
Conclusions: Patients with congenital radioulnar synostosis in nearly neutral rotation could perform all ADL tasks with the aid of compensatory movements of the shoulder and elbow.