Purpose To evaluate the long-term results of surgical intervention for elbow flexion deformity in cerebral palsy. We hypothesized that improvements in elbow extension and flexion posture angle at ambulation would be maintained over time with preservation of active flexion. Methods A total of 23 patients (23 elbows) were available for long-term follow-up. Patients had fixed elbow contractures less than 45 and were treated with partial elbow muscle lengthening. Active and passive range of motion and elbow flexion posture during ambulation were measured at each follow-up, and longitudinal results were compared. Results Active extension and flexion posture angle during ambulation improved 12 and 63, respectively, with an 8 loss of active flexion. Conclusions Soft tissue lengthening of the anterior elbow can provide statistically significant lasting improvements in active extension and flexion posture during ambulation in patients with cerebral palsy. Our long-term findings substantiate previously reported short-term results. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic IV.
- Cerebral palsy