Clinical outcome of treatment of intra-articular distal humerus fracture with open reduction and internal fixation by orthogonal locking plate: a prospective study

Deepak Vashistha, Sandeep Naik, Santosh Nandi, Shreepad Kulkarni


Background: The aim of the study was to study the clinical outcome and complications of surgical management of intra-articular fractures of distal humerus.

Methods: A prospective study included 23 consented patients with intra-articular distal humeral fractures who underwent osteosynthesis by orthogonal locking compression plating using posterior approach with olecranon osteotomy between November 2017 to May 2019 at BLDE(DU’s) Shri BM Patil Medical College, Vijayapura, Karnataka.

Results: In our study there were 15 male patients and 8 female patients with mean age of 38.5 years. 65.2% of the cases admitted were due to motor vehicle accident, 21.7% due to accidental fall and 13% due to fall from height with right side (73.9%) being the more commonly affected side. The mean operative time was 100 minutes. Mayo Elbow Performance Score was 83.3% post operatively and the mean arc of motion was 117°. 82% of cases fared excellent to good results.

Conclusions: Orthogonal locking plate construct provides stable rigid fixation for allowing early mobilisation and allows predictable healing both clinically and functionally in these complicated fractures. Absence of implant failure and non-union may be attributed to the highly stable construct system achieved by orthogonal locking plating. Majority of our cases had good functional outcome and return to pre injury status.


Distal humerus, Intra-articular fracture, Orthogonal locking plating, Olecranon osteotomy

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