Treatment Strategies

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At the Paley Institute, we primarily address the radiohumeral synostosis in patients with Pfeiffer Syndrome. This is a defect in which the arm and forearm are fused together, resulting in a nonfunctional elbow joint. In these patients, pronation-supination (rotation of the forearm) is absent and the movement of the arm is compensated for by the wrist and shoulder.

Treatment is indicated based on the presence of an ulnar-humeral joint. If there is one present, Dr. Paley can perform surgery to resect the synostosis. The humerus is separated from the radius and ulna, creating a false elbow joint. The patient will then undergo intensive physical therapy to improve pronation-supination and elbow flexion-extension. If there is no ulnar-humeral joint, surgery is not indicated as it will not result in any functional improvement.