Outcome analysis of patients with proximal humerus fractures treated with locking plates

Ritesh Kumar, S. Natarajan, Sanjeev Kumar, R. Kalanithi


Background: Fracture of proximal humerus incidence has been reported to be 73 cases per 100,000 individuals per year. There are different methods of treatment of proximal humeral fractures. The aim of our study is to analyse the functional outcome of proximal humerus fractures treated with proximal humerus locking plates and to analyse the possible benefits and complications of the procedure.

Methods: This is a retrospective study of 34 patients with proximal humeral fractures treated with ORIF using Proximal humeral locking plates from October 2010 to November 2012 at Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. The cases are evaluated as regards to functional outcome using constant score, fracture healing clinically, radiologically and complications if any and reason for them.

Results: Our study shows that proximal humerus fractures are now increasingly seen in younger population with good bone stock following high energy trauma. In elderly it was low energy trauma. The average time of radiological fracture union in our study was 10 weeks (8-16 weeks). The mean constant score at final follow up was 66.7 (35-90). A total of 17 patients (51%) had excellent or good results, but in 9 (27%) the outcome was poor. Eight (23%) complications were noted resulting in poor functional outcome.

Conclusions: Proximal humeral locking plate is a good method of osteosynthesis for complex proximal humerus fractures allowing early mobilization, good functional outcome. A reproducible standard surgical technique is absolutely necessary for improved patient outcome.  Most of the complications in our study were related to the surgical technique. The precise surgical technique, stable fracture fixation and restoration of correct neck shaft angle are absolutely necessary for improved outcome.


Proximal humerus fractures, Locking plates, Constant score, PHILOS and PHLP

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