Preventing recurrence of radioulnar synostosis with pedicled adipofascial flaps

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2012 Mar;37(3):244-50. doi: 10.1177/1753193411421094. Epub 2011 Oct 10.


The surgical treatment of post-traumatic radioulnar synostosis is difficult. Recurrence after resection alone is a concern with poor long-term maintenance of forearm rotation. We report on the use of pedicled adipofascial flaps to prevent recurrence and facilitate maintenance of movement in six adult patients with radioulnar synostosis. Five involved the proximal radioulnar joint and one the distal radioulnar joint. In four the flap was based on the radial artery and in two on the posterior interosseous artery. Mean intraoperative supination was 78° and pronation was 76°. Mean follow up was 32 months. At follow-up, mean supination was 71° and pronation was 70°. No patient had radiological recurrence of synostosis. The only complication was a transient posterior interosseous nerve palsy. Pedicled adipofascial flaps are a safe addition to resection alone which may prevent recurrence and maintain the range of forearm rotation achieved at operation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Elbow Injuries*
  • Fractures, Bone / complications
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Radius / injuries
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Synostosis / etiology
  • Synostosis / prevention & control*
  • Synostosis / surgery*
  • Ulna / injuries
  • Young Adult