Radial Club Deformity

Also known as: radius hypoplasia, radial club hand, RCH.

What is radial club deformity?

Radial club deformity is a condition in which a child’s wrist is bent in the direction of the thumb. It is present at birth and may be present in both arms.

What causes radial club hand?

The cause of radial club deformity is not entirely clear. It occurs during fetal development. The condition may be isolated or it may be associated with other conditions that may affect other skeletal structures, and/or other organ systems including the heart and bone marrow.

What are the symptoms of radial club hand?

Symptoms of radial club deformity can range from a mild angular deformity of the wrist to a very severe deformity in which the wrist is severely deviated. Stability and motion of the wrist are affected, and functional impairment of the hand and wrist are often seen.  The thumb is often affected as well, and it may small or absent.

What are radial club hand care options?

Some mild cases of radial club deformity can be resolved with stretching exercises and splints or casts to correct the position of the wrist. Generally, specialized stretching and splinting of the wrist, administered by a pediatric hand therapist, is needed for many years.  In more severe cases, radial club deformity requires surgical treatment. Recurrence of the deformity is common, even after surgery, but continued stretching and splinting after surgery reduces this need.

Reviewed by: Aaron J Berger, MD

This page was last updated on: October 18, 2019 01:52 PM