Prospective observational study evaluating the outcome of a fixed angle plate (proximal humerus internal locking system) in proximal humerus fractures

Kiran Ramachandran, Jackson Mathew, Praveen Koraboina, Ponnezhathu Sebastian John


Background: Proximal humerus fractures are common among elderly. The present study assesses the functional outcomes of fixed angle plate (proximal humerus internal locking system (PHILOS)) in fractures of proximal humerus.

Methods: 30 participants aged ≥18 years with proximal humerus fracture (2, 3 and 4 part) who underwent PHILOS fixation were enrolled. Undisplaced, open, severely comminuted, metastatic, and pathological fractures and with associated head injury and neurovascular injuries wew excluded. Clinical and radiological evaluation were done pre and post-operatively. Intraarticular extent of fracture geometry was assessed using 3-dimensional computed tomography. Participants were managed preoperatively with analgesics and shoulder immobilizer followed by preanesthetic check-up and routine investigations and surgery was done once participants were stable. Sample size was calculated assuming excellent or satisfactory results in 80% participants 6 months after surgery, relative precision of 20%, α of 5% and 10% attrition rate. Institutional ethics committee approved the study and written informed consent was obtained from all study participants.

Results: Mean age of study participants was 62.9 (14.9) years and were predominantly females (66.6%, n=20). No significant difference between type of fracture and duration of recovery was observed (p=0.4). 30% participants had post-operative complications, stiffness was the most common (13.3%, n=4) complication. 76.6% (n=23) participants had good functional outcomes. Significant correlation between type of fracture and NEER score was observed (p<0.0001).

Conclusions: PHILOS is a preferential implant in proximal humerus fractures due to angular stability, particularly in comminuted fractures in younger patients, and osteoporotic fractures in elderly, thus allowing early mobilization and satisfactory final functional outcome. 


PHILOS plate, Proximal humerus fracture, Post-operative complications

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