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Orthop Clin North Am. 1998 Jul;29(3):467-75.

Shoulder hemiarthroplasty for proximal humeral fractures.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA.


Shoulder hemiarthroplasty is a well-accepted surgical procedure for the treatment of specific subtypes of proximal humeral fractures, including four-part fractures, three-part fractures associated with severe osteopenia, head-splitting and severe articular impression fractures. Careful patient assessment and meticulous surgical technique are essential to prevent complications. The results are satisfactory in approximately 80% of cases. The results are better in younger patients and in acute versus chronic fractures. There are a significant number of complications that are related to technical details of the procedure. Careful placement of the prosthesis and secure reattachment of the tuberosities to the shaft reduce the chance of complication following surgery. Good to excellent results in terms of range of motion and pain relief can be expected in most patients.

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