A new locking plate for unstable fractures of the proximal humerus.

Authors: Fankhauser F, Boldin C, Schippinger G, Haunschmid C, Szyszkowitz R.

References: Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 Jan;(430):176-81.

In a prospective study, 28 patients with 29 proximal humeral fractures were treated with the Locking Proximal Humerus Plate from 2001-2002. Most of these fractures were complex, Type B (n = 15) and Type C (n = 9) fractures, according to the AO classification. Followups included radiographs, clinical examinations, and recording Constant scores. After 1 year, the average Constant score for all fractures was 74.6 (range, 37-96). For Type A fractures, it was 82.6 (range, 60-96), for Type B it was 78.3 (range, 37-95), and for Type C it was 64.6 (range, 40-91). Complications related to the implant included breakage of the plate in one patient and redislocation of the fracture in four patients (one fracture was associated with deep infection), which required reoperation in two patients. Partial osteonecrosis was seen in two patients, once after deep infection. There were no nonunions. Our data show that using the Locking Proximal Humerus Plate for treatment of proximal humeral fractures of all types is a reliable procedure, with good results being obtained with careful planning and familiarity with the special features of the operative technique.Level of Evidence: Therapeutic study, Level II-1 (prospective cohort study).

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