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Upper extremity anomalies in children with femoral and fibular deficiency

Janet L Walker, Hank D White, Cale A Jacobs, Scott A Riley
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. Part B 2019 March 13
Defects occurring in the femoral-fibular-ulnar developmental field are believed to cause the cluster of anomalies seen with femoral, fibular and ulnar limb deficiencies. Upper limb function must be considered in the management of lower limb deficiencies. The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency and type of upper extremity anomalies found in children with femoral and/or fibular deficiency. A retrospective review of 327 consecutive patients with the diagnosis of femoral and/or fibular deficiency was performed using existing records and radiographs. Characteristics of those with and without upper extremity anomalies were compared. Upper extremity anomalies were identified in 56 patients. They were more common among those with bilateral, compared with unilateral, lower extremity deficiencies (P<0.0001). Seventy-five upper limbs were involved with 50 ulnar deficiencies, nine congenital transhumeral deficiencies, four congenital shoulder disarticulations, seven cleft hands, two radial head dislocations and one each - radial deficiency, syndactyly and capitate-lunate coalition. Two patients with bilateral upper extremity anomalies had ulnar deficiency on one side and a transverse deficiency on the other. Upper extremity anomalies are found in 17% of children with femoral and/or fibular deficiency, especially with bilateral lower extremity involvement. Ulnar deficiency is the most common type but one-third had other anomalies. The frequent finding of congenital transverse upper extremity deficiencies suggests there may be common embryology.


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