AffiliationDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. firstname.lastname@example.org
Local subject classificationSURGERY, ORTHOPAEDIC
Fracture Fixation, Internal
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CitationBurke NG et al. Locking plate fixation for proximal humerus fractures. Orthopedics. 2012, 35 (2):e250-4
AbstractLocking plates are increasingly used to surgically treat proximal humerus fractures. Knowledge of the bone quality of the proximal humerus is important. Studies have shown the medial and dorsal aspects of the proximal humeral head to have the highest bone strength, and this should be exploited by fixation techniques, particularly in elderly patients with osteoporosis. The goals of surgery for proximal humeral fractures should involve minimal soft tissue dissection and achieve anatomic reduction of the head complex with sufficient stability to allow for early shoulder mobilization. This article reviews various treatment options, in particular locking plate fixation. Locking plate fixation is associated with a high complication rate, such as avascular necrosis (7.9%), screw cutout (11.6%), and revision surgery (13.7%). These complications are frequently due to the varus deformation of the humeral head. Strategic screw placement in the humeral head would minimize the possibility of loss of fracture reduction and potential hardware complications. Locking plate fixation is a good surgical option for the management of proximal humerus fractures. Complications can be avoided by using better bone stock and by careful screw placement in the humeral head.