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J Orthop Trauma. 2008 Oct;22(9):643-7. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0b013e318177eb23.

Shortening osteotomy and compression plating for atrophic humeral nonunions: surgical technique.

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  • 1Harborview Medical Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


The incidence of nonunion after humeral shaft fractures is low with both operative and nonoperative interventions. However, when a delayed union or nonunion occurs, it can be a very debilitating, leading to limited function and pain. Several methods have been described for the management of humeral diaphyseal nonunions. We present 11 cases managed with a transverse, shortening osteotomy and compression plating with or without bone grafting. Of the 11 cases, 10 had prior surgical treatment of open reduction and internal fixation. Union was achieved in all 11 humeri.

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