Changing paradigms in the treatment of radial club hand: Microvascular joint transfer for correction of radial deviation and preservation of long-term growth

Johanna P. de Jong, Steven L. Moran, Simo K. Vilkki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations


Radial longitudinal deficiency, also known as radial club hand, is a congenital deformity of the upper extremity which can present with a spectrum of upper limb deficiencies. The typical hand and forearm deformity in such cases consists of significant forearm shortening, radial deviation of the wrist and hypoplasia or absence of a thumb. Treatment goals focus on the creation of stable centralized and functionally hand, maintenance of a mobile and stable wrist and preservation of longitudinal forearm growth. Historically centralization procedures have been the most common treatment method for this condition; unfortunately centralization procedures are associated with a high recurrence rate and have the potential for injury to the distal ulnar physis resulting in a further decrease in forearm growth. Here we advocate for the use of a vascularized second metatarsophalangeal joint transfer for stabilization of the carpus and prevention of recurrent radial deformity and subluxation of the wrist. This technique was originally described by the senior author in 1992 and he has subsequently been performed in 24 cases with an average of 11-year follow-up. In this paper we present an overview of the technique and review the expected outcomes for this method of treatment of radial longitudinal deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalClinics in Orthopedic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012



  • MTP-joint transfer
  • Microvascular joint transplantation
  • Radial club hand
  • Radial longitudinal deficiency
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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