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Orthopedics. 2011 Oct 5;34(10):e629-33. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20110826-14.

Functional outcomes for surgically treated 3- and 4-part proximal humerus fractures.

Author information

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA. jwildmd@yahoo.com

Erratum in

  • Orthopedics. 2012 Jan;35(1):27.


Surgical treatment of 3- and 4-part proximal humeral fractures remains challenging. This study retrospectively evaluated functional outcomes of locked plate fixation vs hemi-arthroplasty in 57 patients with 3- and 4-part proximal humerus fractures from 2003 to 2005 with a mean follow-up time of 35 months (range, 15.7-52.7 months). Mean patient age was 56.9 years (range, 29-81.7 years) for the open reduction and internal fixation group (n=42) and 66.4 years (range, 38.1-90 years) for hemiarthroplasty group (n=15). All 57 patients completed the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, the Simple Shoulder Test, the Euroqol EQ-5D, [corrected] and the visual analog pain scale. Range of motion, the Constant Score, and the UCLA Shoulder score were used to evaluate a subset of 33 patients. Forty-one patients in the open reduction and internal fixation group achieved union, and 1 had symptomatic avascular necrosis requiring subsequent hemiarthroplasty. Two patients had implant removal for impingement symptoms. In the hemiarthroplasty group, there was 1 revision for a loose prosthesis. The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (P=.023), Simple Shoulder Test (P=.012), patient satisfaction (P=.034), Constant Score (P=.008), Kelsh Adjusted Constant Score (P=.015), UCLA Shoulder score (P=.01), and range of motion (forward flexion, P=.002; abduction, P=.001) were significantly better in the open reduction and internal fixation group than the hemiarthroplasty group. No significant differences between the groups existed in terms of SF-12 (physical, P=.118; mental, P=.134), Euroqol EQ-5D [corrected] (P=.169), or visual analog pain scale scores (P=.135), but all trended toward better with open reduction and internal fixation.

Copyright 2011, SLACK Incorporated.

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