Radiographic early to midterm results of distraction osteogenesis in radial longitudinal deficiency

J Hand Surg Am. 2012 Nov;37(11):2313-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2012.08.029.


Purpose: To analyze early to midterm radiographic results after forearm lengthening in children with radial longitudinal deficiency.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients with radial longitudinal deficiency undergoing distraction osteogenesis with an Ilizarov device. We retrospectively reviewed 8 lengthening procedures in 6 children with respect to distraction details and assessed anteroposterior and lateral radiographs of the hand and forearm of the preoperative and postoperative follow-up investigations.

Results: The mean age at time of ulna lengthening was 9.9 years (range, 6.3-14.0 y). The mean follow-up period was 4.7 years (range, 1.0-8.5 y). Mean lengthening of the ulna was 7.0 cm (range, 3.5-8.7 cm), and the mean length gain of the ulna compared with its preoperative length was 75% (range, 42% to 103%). The mean ulna bowing was 25° preoperatively (range, 7° to 42°), 6° after forearm distraction (range, 0° to 14°), and 17° at latest follow-up (range, 0° to 45°). The mean hand-forearm angle was 25° of radial deviation preoperatively (range, 15° ulnar to 60° radial deviation), 11° of radial deviation after distraction (range, 0° to 41°), and 23° at latest follow-up (range, 0° to 45°). We encountered 2 major complications: 1 ulna fracture after removal of the Ilizarov device and 1 insufficient bone regenerate during lengthening.

Conclusions: We achieved both deformity correction and improvement of limb length after distraction osteogenesis with an Ilizarov device. However, some of the deformity-in particular, ulnar bowing and radial deviation of the hand-recurred at midterm follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Forearm / diagnostic imaging
  • Forearm / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction* / instrumentation
  • Radiography
  • Radius / abnormalities*
  • Radius / surgery*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome