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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1989 Jan;71(1):24-9.

Operations for forearm deformity caused by multiple osteochondromas.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


We reviewed 36 cases of forearm deformity caused by multiple osteochondromas in 30 patients and classified them into three types: Type I showed a combination of ulnar shortening and bowing of the radius secondary to osteochondromas of the distal ulna (22 forearms). Type II showed dislocation of the radial head, either with osteochondromas of the proximal radius (Type IIa, two forearms) or secondary to more distal involvement (Type IIb, five forearms). Type III had relative radial shortening due to osteochrondromas at the distal radius (seven forearms). Operations were performed on 16 forearms in 13 patients, with 92% of satisfactory results. For Type I deformity, excision of osteochondromas, immediate ulnar lengthening and corrective osteotomy of the radius are recommended. For Type IIa, excision of the radial head is necessary, and for Type IIb, we advise gradual lengthening of the ulna using an external fixator. Excision of osteochondromas alone gave good results in Type III deformity. Our classification gives a reliable indication of the prognosis and is a guide to the choice of surgical treatment.

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