Minimally invasive plating for complex humeral shaft fractures

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IntroductionThe treatment for humeral shaft fracture is still controversial, especially for complex fractures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiographic outcomes of treating complex humeral shaft fractures by using locking compression plate with minimally invasive technique.Materials and methodsA total of 21 patients with 21 acute complex humeral shaft fractures (AO type C) were included in this study. All were treated with locking compression plate in a minimally invasive way. The average age of the patients was 42.9 years and there were 14 males and 7 females. Plain radiographs of humerus were used to assess bony union. Functional recovery of the shoulder joint was assessed using the Constant and HSS scoring systems.ResultsThe patients were followed for a mean of 28.7 months (range 19-37). With one operation, nineteen fractures (90.4%) achieved a solid union in an average of 14.3 weeks. At final follow-up, 20 patients (95.2%) had satisfactory alignment, except for one associated with olecranon fracture, all patients had a good to excellent elbow function with a mean HSS score of 91.7 points. Eighteen patients (85.7%) achieved satisfactory shoulder function with a mean Constant score of 83.1 points. One superficial infection (4.8%) and two non-unions (9.6%) were found postoperatively.ConclusionsIt was concluded that use of a minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis with locking compression plate is a safe alternative way to classic surgical methods in the treatment of complex humeral shaft fractures, which had a high union rate with less risk of complications.

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