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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005 Apr;87(4):771-80.

Management of cubitus varus and valgus.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital, 1Ga-10, Ami-Dong, Seo-Gu, Pusan 602-739, Korea.



Many types of osteotomy have been proposed for the treatment of cubitus varus and valgus, but they have limitations, such as poor internal fixation, residual protrusion of the lateral or medial condyle, technical difficulty, the need for long-term immobilization, a risk of neurovascular injury, and patient discomfort. We reviewed the results of a simple step-cut translation osteotomy that overcomes these limitations.


Between 1993 and 2002, we treated nineteen cases of cubitus varus and thirteen cases of cubitus valgus with use of a simple step-cut translation osteotomy and fixation with a Y-shaped humeral plate. After surgery, the patients were observed closely for more than one year. We compared preoperative and postoperative humerus-elbow-wrist angles, ranges of motion, and lateral or medial prominence indices for all patients. The results were evaluated according to the modified criteria of Oppenheim et al. The presence of tardy ulnar nerve palsy and its duration, and postoperative lazy-s deformity or unsightly scarring, were also noted.


There were twenty-six excellent and six good results. In the nineteen patients with cubitus varus, the average amount of correction of the humerus-elbow-wrist angle was 26.0 degrees , to a mean postoperative angle of 8.6 degrees , and the average increase in the lateral prominence index was 8.2%. In the thirteen patients with cubitus valgus, the average correction in the humerus-elbow-wrist angle was 27.6 degrees , resulting in a final angle of 9.1 degrees , and the average increase in the medial prominence index was 11.9%. In all patients, the desired range of motion, good alignment, and complete union of the bone were achieved.


Step-cut translation osteotomy, with a wedge-shaped osteotomized surface, fixed with a Y-shaped humeral plate is a relatively simple procedure resulting in very firm fixation that allows early movement of the joint with good clinical results.

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