Long-Term Results of Surgery for Forearm Deformities in Patients with Multiple Cartilaginous Exostoses

Akita, Shosuke; Murase, Tsuyoshi; Yonenobu, Kazuo; Shimada, Kozo; Masada, Kazuhiro; Yoshikawa, Hideki
September 2007
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, American Volume;Sep2007, Vol. 89-A Issue 9, p1993
Academic Journal
Background: Surgical treatment of forearm deformities in patients with multiple cartilaginous exostoses remains controversial. The purpose of the present study was to determine the reasonable indications for operative treatment and to evaluate long-term results of forearm surgery in these patients. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed twenty-three patients (thirty-one forearms) after a mean duration of follow-up of nearly thirteen years. The mean age at the time of the initial procedure was eleven years. The patients underwent a variety of surgical procedures, including excision of exostoses; corrective procedures (lengthening of the radius or ulna and/or corrective osteotomy of the radius and/or ulna) and open reduction or excision of a dislocated radial head. Clinical evaluation involved the assessment of pain, activities of daily living, the cosmetic outcome, and the ranges of motion of the wrist, forearm, and elbow. The radiographic parameters that were assessed were ulnar variance, the radial articular angle, and carpal slip. Results: Four patients had mild pain, and five patients had mild restriction of daily activities at the time of follow-up. Eight patients stated that the appearance of the forearm was unsatisfactory. Radiographic parameters (ulnar variance, radial articular angle, carpal slip) were initially improved; however, at the time of the final follow-up visit, the deformities had again progressed and showed no significant improvement. The only procedure that was associated with complications was ulnar lengthening. Complications included nonunion (three forearms), fracture of callus at the site of lengthening (two forearms), and temporary radial nerve paresis following an ulnar distraction osteotomy (one forearm). Excision of exostoses significantly improved the range of pronation (p = 0.036). Conclusions: In our patients with multiple cartilaginous exostoses, corrective osteotomy and/or lengthening of forearm bones was not beneficial. The most beneficial procedure was excision of exostoses. Reasonable indications for forearm surgery in these patients are (1) to improve forearm rotation and (2) to improve the appearance.


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