Geriatric proximal humeral fracture patients show similar clinical outcomes to non-geriatric patients after osteosynthesis with endosteal fibular strut allograft augmentation

Richard M. Hinds, Matthew R. Garner, Wesley H. Tran, Lionel E. Lazaro, Joshua S. Dines, Dean G. Lorich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Background: Osteosynthesis of proximal humeral fractures is challenging in geriatric patients. The purpose of this investigation was to compare postoperative clinical outcomes between cohorts of geriatric (aged≥65years) and non-geriatric proximal humeral fracture patients treated via locked plating with endosteal fibular strut allograft augmentation. Methods: From March 2007 to January 2013, 71 adult patients with 2-, 3-, and 4-part proximal humeral fractures according to the Neer classification underwent osteosynthesis with locked plating and fibular allograft augmentation and had at least 12months of clinical follow-up. All patients followed the same postoperative rehabilitation protocol. We compared the following between geriatric and non-geriatric patients: Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores; University of California, Los Angeles shoulder ratings; Constant-Murley scores; and range of motion; as well as injury characteristics and radiographic outcomes. Results: Geriatric patients comprised 48% of the study cohort (34 of 71 patients). The mean age of the geriatric and non-geriatric cohorts was 74years and 53years, respectively. Geriatric patients showed significantly reduced forward flexion (147° vs 159°, P=.04) when compared with non-geriatric patients. There were no significant differences in functional scores, radiographic outcomes, or complication rates between the 2 cohorts, although in 1 geriatric patient, osteonecrosis developed and screw penetration through the collapsed head was present 3 years after surgery. Conclusions: Osteosynthesis of proximal humeral fractures via locked plating with fibular strut allograft augmentation results in similar clinical outcomes between geriatric and non-geriatric patients. We believe that enhanced stability provided by this fixation construct allows early intensive postoperative therapy and results in excellent outcomes despite patient age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-896
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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