Testing and Diagnosis for Madelung Deformity in Children

At Boston Children’s Hospital, we understand that the first step to treating your child or teen is getting an accurate, timely and thorough diagnosis.

Madelung is usually diagnosed by physical examination when the deformity becomes apparent. This is usually when a child is between 8 and 14 years old, although the condition sometimes shows up earlier.  

Your child’s doctor will take a thorough medical history and perform a careful physical examination. Typically, x-rays confirm the diagnosis.

•   To confirm a diagnosis of Madelung deformity, the doctor orders x-rays to look closely at the underlying
    structure of your child’s wrist bones, to check for related conditions; and to determine the best course of
    treatment.

•   To evaluate whether genetic syndromes are involved, Boston Children’s may also perform genetic testing.

•   There are some conditions that can cause deformities that mimic the Madelung deformity, including sickle cell
    disease, post-traumatic growth plate disturbance of the radius, bone dysplasia and others. The doctor will rule
    out other possible conditions using physical exam, X-rays, and occasionally, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
    or CT scans (computed tomography).