Acquired upper extremity growth arrest

Erich M. Gauger, Lauren L. Casnovsky, Erica J. Gauger, Deborah C. Bohn, Ann E. Van Heest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study reviewed the clinical history and management of acquired growth arrest in the upper extremity in pediatric patients. The records of all patients presenting from 1996 to 2012 with radiographically proven acquired growth arrest were reviewed. Records were examined to determine the etiology and site of growth arrest, management, and complications. Patients with tumors or hereditary etiology were excluded. A total of 44 patients (24 boys and 20 girls) with 51 physeal arrests who presented at a mean age of 10.6 years (range, 0.8-18.2 years) were included in the study. The distal radius was the most common site (n=24), followed by the distal humerus (n=8), metacarpal (n=6), distal ulna (n=5), proximal humerus (n=4), radial head (n=3), and olecranon (n=1). Growth arrest was secondary to trauma (n=22), infection (n=11), idiopathy (n=6), inflammation (n=2), compartment syndrome (n=2), and avascular necrosis (n=1). Twenty-six patients (59%) underwent surgical intervention to address deformity caused by the physeal arrest. Operative procedures included ipsilateral unaffected bone epiphysiodesis (n=21), shortening osteotomy (n=10), lengthening osteotomy (n=8), excision of physeal bar or bone fragment (n=2), angular correction osteotomy (n=1), and creation of single bone forearm (n=1). Four complications occurred; 3 of these required additional procedures. Acquired upper extremity growth arrest usually is caused by trauma or infection, and the most frequent site is the distal radius. Growth disturbances due to premature arrest can be treated effectively with epiphysiodesis or osteotomy. In this series, the specific site of anatomic growth arrest was the primary factor in determining treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e95-e103
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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