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Outcomes of locking plates in proximal humeral fractures: a systematic review

Barber, JA; Dheerendra, SK; Khan, WS; Goddard, NJ; Ahrens, PM; (2011) Outcomes of locking plates in proximal humeral fractures: a systematic review. Shoulder & Elbow , 3 74 - 84.

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Abstract

A systematic review of the clinical and radiological outcomes of locking plates in proximal humeral fractures in the current English literature was performed using Medline, CINAHL, AMED and EMBASE electronic databases to July 2009 via Ovid. There were 1266 proximal humeral fractures included in the review. The mean age of the patients was 61.7 years and there were 70.3% women. Based on the Neer classification, the review included 27% two-part, 39.5% three-part and 23.6% four-part fractures. At final follow-up, the Constant score was in the range 59 to 80, and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores were in the range 15.2 to 51.8. The most requent postoperative complication described was intra-articular screw perforation in 8.5% of fractures. Other complications included avascular necrosis (5.1%), subacromial impingement (3.1%), loss of reduction (3.7%) and implant failure (3.15%). Unplanned secondary surgical procedures were undertaken in 14.2% of cases. This systematic review has demonstrated that locking plate systems are suitable for stabilizing proximal humeral fractures. The current evidence base presents a number of methodological weaknesses and randomized controlled trials at independent centres reporting long-term results are required to compare locking plate systems with alternative fixation techniques used in the treatment of proximal humeral fractures.

Type:Article
Title:Outcomes of locking plates in proximal humeral fractures: a systematic review
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Statistical Science

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