Bilateral Madelung deformity

Case contributed by Tito Alfredo Atencia Rincón
Diagnosis certain


Female patient with deformity of both forearms with restricted mobility.

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Female

Radiographs typically show a short, curved radius with a greater volar inclination of its distal segment, which determines a widening of the distal radius-ulnar joint. There is also an exaggerated ulnar inclination of the articular surface of the distal radius, with dorsal subluxation of the ulna and triangular deformity of the carpus. The carpal bones form a wedge in the triangular deformity created by the distal radius, with the lunate at the apex. 

Case Discussion

Madelung's deformity is defined as a marked bowing of the radial shaft associated with increased interosseous space and dorsal distal radioulnar joint subluxation. 
It is due to an early closure or defect of the ulnar third of the radial physis. 

In 50-60% of cases, it can be bilateral. It is associated with rare congenital deformities such as Turner's syndrome, gonadal dysgenesis, achondroplasia, Ollier's disease, and Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis. 

Surgical options include:

  • radial epiphysiodesis
  • radial corrective osteotomy
  • radial physiolysis
  • ulnar epiphysiodesis
  • distal ulnar excision
  • ulnar shortening osteotomy

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.