Madelung Deformity

J Hand Surg Am. 2015 Oct;40(10):2090-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2015.03.033. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Madelung deformity of the wrist is more common in females and is often associated with Leri Weill dyschondrosteosis, a mesomelic form of dwarfism. Patients with Madelung deformity often report wrist deformity resulting from the prominence of the relatively long ulna. The typical Madelung deformity is associated with a Vickers ligament that creates a tether across the volar-ulnar radial physis that restricts growth across this segment. The distal radius deforms in the coronal (increasing radial inclination) and the sagittal (increasing volar tilt) planes. There is lunate subsidence and the proximal carpal row adapts to the deformity by forming an upside-down pyramid shape or triangle. Treatment depends on the age at presentation, degree of deformity, and magnitude of symptoms. Mild asymptomatic deformity warrants a period of nonsurgical management with serial x-ray examinations because the natural history is unpredictable. Many patients never require surgical intervention. Progressive deformity in the young child with considerable growth potential remaining requires release of Vickers ligament and radial physiolysis to prevent ongoing deterioration Concomitant ulnar epiphysiodesis may be necessary. Advanced asymptomatic deformity in older children with an unacceptable-appearing wrist or symptomatic deformity are indications for surgery. A dome osteotomy of the radius allows 3-dimensional correction of the deformity. Positive radiographic and clinical results after dome osteotomy have been reported.

Keywords: Madelung deformity; Vickers ligament; epiphysiodesis; osteotomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Plates
  • Bone Wires
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Growth Disorders / epidemiology
  • Growth Disorders / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / diagnosis*
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / epidemiology
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / surgery*
  • Osteotomy / instrumentation
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Radius / surgery
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Distribution
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulna / surgery

Supplementary concepts

  • Madelung Deformity