Supracondylar Osteotomies of Posttraumatic Distal Humeral Deformities in Young Adults - Technique and Results

Fokko Richard Buß*, 1, Arndt-Peter Schulz2, Helmut Lill1, Christine Voigt1
1 Friederikenstift Hospital Hannover, Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, Humboldtstraße 5, D-30169 Hannover, Germany
2 University Hospital Schleswig Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Ratzeburger Allee 160, D-23538 Lübeck, Germany

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© Buß et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Friederikenstift Hospital Hannover, Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, Humboldtstraße 5, D-30169 Hannover, Germany; Tel: 0049-511/1292331; Fax: 0049-511/1292405; E-mail:



Cubitus varus deformity is the most common late complication after distal humeral fractures in children. Typical symptoms are increasing instability especially the posterolateral rotatory instability (POLRI), lateral elbow pain and cosmetic problems. Different ways of correction have been described but a gold standard has not yet been established.


In this study the clinical outcome 6,5 months after supracondylar closed wedge osteotomy stabilized with locking plates in four young adults was investigated: three with a posttraumatic varus deformity and one with a posttraumatic valgus deformity of the distal humerus.


All patients showed good or excellent results in the Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS) and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score (DASH). In one case, a revision because of a delayed union was necessary, in another case a preexisting pseudarthrosis of the radial epicondyle remained. Neither a residual instability of the elbow joint, nor any significant prominence of the lateral epicondyle was observed.


The supracondylar closed wedge osteotomy stabilized by a locking plate is an effective procedure for the correction of posttraumatic distal humerus deformities in young adults with good final functional results.

Keywords: Distal humeral fractures, posttraumatic elbow deformity, supracondylar osteotomy, surgical technique.