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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2009 Nov-Dec;18(6):837-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Sep 12.

Treatment of proximal humerus fractures with locking plates: a systematic review.

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1
Clinical Trauma Fellow, Academic Department of Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, UK.

Abstract

HYPOTHESIS:

Locking plates with special configuration for the anatomic region of the proximal humerus have been introduced recently to address the difficulties of stabilizing proximal humeral fractures. The purpose of this study was to carry out a systematic review of the literature on the efficacy and early to medium term functional results of locking plates for stabilization of proximal humeral fractures.

METHODS:

Using the PubMed database, a systematic review of the English and German literature was carried out in order to assess the efficacy and complications related to the use of these plates and the patients' functional outcome, using the key words "locking plates proximal humeral fractures," "angular stability plates proximal humeral fractures," "PHILOS plate," and "LPHP plate." Our criteria for eligibility were clinical studies with more than ten cases followed-up, adult patients, and adequate data provided at least in terms of implant related complications. Articles written in English and German language were included. Exclusion criteria were: studies dealing exclusively with 2-part fractures (since this category has a more favorable outcome); experimental studies; case reports; and, literature other than English or German. Each one of the articles was evaluated for quality of the study using the Structured Effectiveness Quality Evaluation Scale (SEQES).

RESULTS:

Twelve studies including 791 patients met the inclusion criteria. Patients in these studies continued to improve up to one year, achieving a mean Constant score of 74.3. The incidence of the reported complications was: avascular necrosis 7.9%, screw cut-out 11.6% and re-operation rate 13.7%.

DISCUSSION:

The high incidence of cut-out may be secondary to the rigidity of the implant in combination with medial inadequate support, in cases compromised by severe underlying osteoporotic bone. Definition of indications for the use of locking plates and attention on technical aspects of applying them would help optimization of the results.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Systematic Review.

PMID:
19748802
DOI:
10.1016/j.jse.2009.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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