- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Madelung's deformity

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Idiopathic progressive curvature of the radius. A developmental abnormality of the wrist and forearm with displacement of the hand to the radial side as the result of dorsolateral distortion of the lower end of the radius. The condition is due to relative overgrowth of the ulna. Prevalent in women (4:1). Onset in adolescence, usually between 8 and 14 years of age.

The abnormality may be acquired through trauma or infection, represent a component of a genetic bone dysplasia, or be inherited in isolation as an autosomal dominant trait.

According to some authors, the deformity never occurs isolated, always being a partial symptom of dyschondrosteosis Léri-Weill (Langer, 1965). Also frequently seen in patients with Turner's syndrome.

Léri-Weill syndrome is a different type of the same condition.


  • O. W. Madelung:
    Die spontane Subluxation der Hand nach Vorne.
    Verhandlungen der deutschen Gesellschaft für Chirurgie, Berlin, 1878, 7: 259-276.

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