Biological osteosynthesis in three and four part fractures of the proximal humerus

Biological osteosynthesis in three and four part fractures of the proximal humerus

Villanueva-Lopez, F

Introduction: Various surgical techniques existed for the treatment of three and four part proximal humeral fractures with variable outcomes. The aim of this study is to present a technique using small materials, to preserve all the biologic principles of fracture fixation, in the treatment of these challenging injuries.

Material: We perform a study taking as inclusion criteria: 3 and 4 parts proximal, closed, humeral fractures, treated surgically by open reduction and a modular biological internal fixation.

Surgical technique: Through a standard delto-pectoral approach the fragments reduced, taking care to preserve the periosteum and manipulate meticulously the soft tissues. All the fractures were fixed with a combined system of Kirschner wires inserted to the proximal fragments, connected by “bone clips” forming a modular construction and fixed to the main distal fragment by AO screws.

Results: 24 patients complied with the inclusion criteria and were followed up a mean of 18 months. All patients achieved a satisfactory result except a fracture-dislocation that developed AVN and was revised into a shoulder arthroplasty and two demented elderly patients with metalware failure that were also revised.

Conclusion: In this first series of non-selected cases the outcome of fracture consolidation is promising. Although this technique is in its embryonary phase of development and the functional results are currently been assessed, the radiological outcomes suggest that the technique described is a valid alternative to the treatment of these fractures if we indicate an osteosynthesis method that combines biology and stability.

F. Villanueva-Lopez, V.N. Psychoyios, I. Esteo-Perez, E. Zambiakis, F. Villegas-Rodriguez

Dept. of Orthopaedics, Hospital de Poniente, El Ejido, Spain.

Copyright British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery 2003

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