Madelung Deformity in Children

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If your child has been diagnosed with Madelung deformity (also known at Madelung's Deformity), we at Boston Children’s Hospital will do everything we can to treat her—and you—with sensitivity and support.

Here are some of the basics of Madelung deformity:

•   Madelung deformity is an arm condition that results in a malaligned wrist—the joint where the two long bones of
    the forearm (the radius and ulna) meet the carpal bones of the hand.
•   Madelung is a congenital condition, meaning that it’s something your child was born with, but it often doesn’t
    show up until pre- or early adolescence.
•   Girls are more often affected than boys.
•   Most of the time, the condition affects both of a child’s wrists.
•   Signs and symptoms can include:
     -    Limited range of motion (ROM) in wrist
     -    Wrist pain
     -    Visible changes in the appearance of the wrist
•   The condition is usually diagnosed when a child is between 8 and 14 years old, although the condition can become
    apparent earlier.
•   Diagnosis is usually confirmed by a physical exam and x-rays.
•   For children with no symptoms and only a minor bump, observation and monitoring may be all that is needed. But
    more severe Madelung may be treated by surgery, and there are several surgical approaches.
•   While surgery corrects the deformity, it can come back, especially in younger children. Boston Children’s doctors
    use several strategies to reduce the risk of recurrence. 

How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches Madelung deformity

You can have peace of mind knowing that the skilled experts in our Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program have treated thousands of babies and children with many arm and hand problems that range from the simple to the highly complex, including world-class treatment for Madelung deformity..  We provide expert diagnosis, treatment and care, and we benefit from our advanced clinical and scientific research.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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