Management of peri-prosthetic fracture of the humerus with severe bone loss and loosening of the humeral component after total shoulder replacement

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Brockley Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 4LP, UK.
The Bone & Joint Journal (Impact Factor: 3.31). 10/2012; 94(10):1382-9. DOI: 10.1302/0301-620X.94B10.29248
Source: PubMed


There is little information about the management of peri-prosthetic fracture of the humerus after total shoulder replacement (TSR). This is a retrospective review of 22 patients who underwent a revision of their original shoulder replacement for peri-prosthetic fracture of the humerus with bone loss and/or loose components. There were 20 women and two men with a mean age of 75 years (61 to 90) and a mean follow-up 42 months (12 to 91): 16 of these had undergone a previous revision TSR. Of the 22 patients, 12 were treated with a long-stemmed humeral component that bypassed the fracture. All their fractures united after a mean of 27 weeks (13 to 94). Eight patients underwent resection of the proximal humerus with endoprosthetic replacement to the level of the fracture. Two patients were managed with a clam-shell prosthesis that retained the original components. The mean Oxford shoulder score (OSS) of the original TSRs before peri-prosthetic fracture was 33 (14 to 48). The mean OSS after revision for fracture was 25 (9 to 31). Kaplan-Meier survival using re-intervention for any reason as the endpoint was 91% (95% confidence interval (CI) 68 to 98) and 60% (95% CI 30 to 80) at one and five years, respectively. There were two revisions for dislocation of the humeral head, one open reduction for modular humeral component dissociation, one internal fixation for nonunion, one trimming of a prominent screw and one re-cementation for aseptic loosening complicated by infection, ultimately requiring excision arthroplasty. Two patients sustained nerve palsies. Revision TSR after a peri-prosthetic humeral fracture associated with bone loss and/or loose components is a salvage procedure that can provide a stable platform for elbow and hand function. Good rates of union can be achieved using a stem that bypasses the fracture. There is a high rate of complications and function is not as good as with the original replacement.

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    ABSTRACT: Fractures of the humerus in patients with total shoulder replacement are rare and difficult to treat. The treatment of periprosthetic humeral fractures depends on the location of the fracture in relation to the humeral stem and the stability of the stem/bone interface. We wished to determine the treatment outcomes in a series of patients managed in our institution with periprosthetic humeral fractures. We also carried out a review of the literature.Over a 5 year period, out of 10 patients, 7 were available at the final follow up with a mean age of 72 years (range 68–75). A fall from standing height was the most common mechanism of injury. All patients were found to have stable prosthesis in situ and were treated with angular stable plates and cerclage wiring. The mean time from the total shoulder replacement to injury (fracture) was 11.2 months (range 8–21). All fractures united without complications at a mean time of 5.1 months (range 4–6). The literature review revealed a limited number of publications reporting on the management of approximately 40 patients. The outcome noted in these patients is also presented.
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