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ABSTRACT: In recent years, plate osteosynthesis with angular stable implants is frequently used for severely displaced three- and four-part proximal humeral fractures. The aim of this study is to evaluate early results of these fractures treated with insertion of LCP or Philos plates. We present results in 30 cases of proximal humeral fractures, 17 with 3 parts according to Neer and 13 with 4 parts, treated with Locking Compression Plates (LCP, 14 cases) and Philos plates (16) by the deltopectoral approach. Patients were checked with standard X-rays and clinical evaluation, according to the Constant-Murley shoulder score, Individual Constant score and Relative Constant score. Mean follow-up time was 21 months (range 6-42 months). The mean Constant-Murley shoulder scores were Pain 10.6 (3-15), Activities of Daily Living 15.3 (2-20), Range of Motion 26.8 (12-40) and Power 10.3 (3-25) and Total 63 (25-97). The Individual Constant score was 68.6% (27-98%) and the Relative Constant score 85.4% (36-130%). Fractures in 3 parts (of the surgical or anatomic humeral neck and major tubercle) had a mean Constant score of 69.1 (17 cases), but this fell to 55 (13 cases) in those in 4 parts (neck, major and lesser tubercles). Late necrosis of the humeral head occurred in two cases, both with 4-part breaks. We thus believe that 3-part fractures, in which both reduction and stable osteosynthesis are easier, show favourable prognosis and should be clearly distinguished from 4-part ones during assessments. The deltopectoral approach offers good exposure and is especially recommended in 4-part fractures, also because it provides a good view of the lesser tubercle. The osteosynthesis must be stable if early mobilisation of the shoulder and proper recovery of range of motion are to be achieved. As well as reduction and stabilisation of the tubercles, it is also important to restore the neck/shaft angle and stabilise it with oblique screws fitting the plate to avoid varus malposition.
MUSCULOSKELETAL SURGERY 03/2011; 95 Suppl 1:S43-8.