Treatments for Radioulnar synostosis in Children

At Boston Children's Hospital, our Orthopedic Center's Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program provides comprehensive care—including evaluation, diagnosis, consultation, surgery, non-surgical therapies and follow-up care.

In general, your child's doctor will determine treatment based on whether your child is having problems using her arm, rather than the absolute position of the forearm.

Some children's forearms lie in functional positions, and never need surgery. Children who have the problem in both arms, and/or in whom the forearm is fixed in a position that limits their ability to use their arm, may benefit from surgery, preferably before they reach school age.


Surgery can be performed either to remove the abnormal soft tissue or bony connection or to position the forearm in a more functionally acceptable position.

While it's rare that surgery can reconstruct a “normal” joint between the radius and ulna, some children see significant improvement in function from osteotomy (bone-cutting) procedures, in which the forearm bones are surgically repositioned.

Coping and support

At Boston Children's Hospital, we understand that a hospital visit can be difficult, and sometimes overwhelming. So, we offer many amenities to make your child's—and your own—hospital experience as pleasant as possible. Visit the Hale Family Center for Families for all you need to know about:

•   getting to Boston Children's
•   accommodations
•   navigating the hospital experience
•   resources that are available for your family

In particular, we understand that you may have a lot of questions when your child is diagnosed with radioulnar synostosis. Will this affect my child long term? Will she be able to enjoy regular activities? Children's can connect you with extensive resources to help you and your family through this stressful time, including:

•   patient education: From doctor's appointments to physical therapy and recovery, our nurses and physical
    therapists will be on hand to walk you through your child's treatment and help answer any questions you may
    have—Why will my child need surgery? Are there non-surgical options? How long will her recovery take? How
    should we manage home exercises and physical therapy?
We'll help you coordinate and continue the care and
    support your child received while at Children's.
•   parent-to-parent: Want to talk with someone whose child has been treated for radioulnar synostosis? We
    can often put you in touch with other families who've been through the same process that you and your child
    are facing, and who will share their experiences.
•   faith-based support: If you're in need of spiritual support, we'll connect you with the Children's chaplaincy.
    Our program includes nearly a dozen clergy— representing Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic and
    other faith traditions—who will listen to you, pray with you and help you observe your own faith practices
    during your hospital experience.
•   social work: Our social workers and mental health clinicians have helped many families in your situation.
    We can offer counseling and assistance with issues such as coping with your child's diagnosis, stresses relating
    to coping with illness and dealing with financial difficulties.