Surgical approach to forearm pronation deformity in patients with cerebral palsy: a systematic review


cerebral palsy, pronation deformity, spasticity

Published online: Aug 11 2023


Department of Physical Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


Background: Pronation deformity in patients with cerebral palsy can have a major impact on upper limb functionality. There is lack of consensus in the literature about the preferred surgical technique to address this deformity.

Study aim: To evaluate and synthesize the outcome of different surgical techniques for pronation deformity in patients with cerebral palsy.

Methodology: The databases MEDLINE and Embase were searched for publications up to December 2021. Articles were considered eligible for inclusion when the included patients had a pronation deformity caused by cerebral palsy and results of surgical intervention for pronation deformity were examined. Evaluation of the quality of the retrieved study was conducted using the MINORS tool. Meta-analysis was not possible due to the heterogeneity of interventions and reported outcomes.

Results: Nineteen studies, involving 475 patients and eight different techniques were included. All studies reported gain of active supination in most patients. The effect of surgery on functional gain was less clear and there was a large heterogeneity of reported functional outcome measures. There were 46 reported complications. Overall quality of study design was poor, illustrated by the average MINOR score of 6.9/16. Overall, there is a high risk of bias due to poor internal and external validity of the studies.

Conclusion: Despite positive reports on gain in supination and functionality after most procedures addressing pronation deformity in CP patients, no conclusions can be drawn concerning the preferred technique due to the low quality of the evidence.