Madelung’s deformity is a rare condition in which the radius—one of the bones in the forearm—becomes curved, forcing the other forearm bone (the ulna) to stick out. Madelung’s deformity is a congenital condition, meaning it was present when your child was born, but it often doesn’t become obvious until children go through their preteen growth spurt. It usually affects both arms.
Madelung’s deformity is usually diagnosed when a child is between 8 and 14 years old, sometimes earlier. Your child’s doctor will perform a physical exam and take x-rays to confirm the diagnosis.
Many children with Madelung’s deformity have no pain or movement limitations and do not need any treatment. However, it’s still a good idea for your child’s doctor to regularly monitor the condition as your child grows.
Some children have pain or trouble using their wrist, or their condition gets worse over time. In those situations, surgery may be recommended to stabilize the wrist so that it can move without pain. Surgery can also help the condition from getting worse over time. Children will need to wear a cast for several weeks after surgery to hold the bones in the corrected position.