Craniosynostosis may occur in conjunction with limb and visceral anomalies in more than 100 syndromes and may include anomalies of the elbow. Apert's, Pfeiffer's, Crouzon's, and Saethre-Chotzen syndrome have been linked with anomalies of the elbow, but the incidence and severity of such anomalies is unknown. A prospective radiographic study was undertaken to establish the types, incidence, and severity of elbow anomalies in patients with either Apert's, Pfeiffer's, Crouzon's, or Saethre-Chotzen syndrome attending the Craniofacial Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital during a 12-month period. This study showed that elbow anomalies were very common in Apert's and Pfeiffer's syndrome, but less so in Crouzon's syndrome. The elbows in all patients with Saethre-Chotzen syndrome were normal. A range of anomalies was seen, with overlap between the syndromes. The severest anomaly seen in children with Crouzon's, Pfeiffer's, and Apert's syndrome was complete synostosis, which may require surgical intervention in due course. The results of this study suggest that the incidence of elbow anomalies in Apert's, Pfeiffer's, and Crouzon's syndrome is higher than the current literature suggests. Synostosis can be so severe that orthopedic review as part of the management of these children may be beneficial and may become increasingly important as more of these children survive into adulthood.
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