Early results in the treatment of proximal humeral fractures with a polyaxial locking plate


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Abstract

ObjectivesWe report early results using a second generation locking plate, non-contact bridging plate (NCB PH®, Zimmer Inc. Warsaw, IN, USA), for the treatment of proximal humeral fractures. The NCB PH® combines conventional plating technique with polyaxial screw placement and angular stability.DesignProspective case series.SettingA single level-1 trauma center.PatientsA total of 50 patients with proximal humeral fractures were treated from May 2004 to December 2005.InterventionSurgery was performed in open technique in all cases.Main outcome measuresImplant-related complications, clinical parameters (duration of surgery, range of motion, Constant-Murley Score, subjective patient satisfaction, complications) and radiographic evaluation [union, implant loosening, implant-related complications and avascular necrosis (AVN) of the humeral head] at 6, 12 and 24 weeks.ResultsAll fractures available to follow-up (48 of 50) went to union within the follow-up period of 6 months. One patient was lost to follow-up, one patient died of a cause unrelated to the trauma, four patients developed AVN with cutout, one patient had implant loosening, three patients experienced cutout and one patient had an axillary nerve lesion (onset unknown). The average age- and gender-related Constant Score (n = 35) was 76.ConclusionsThe NCB PH® combines conventional plating technique with polyaxial screw placement and angular stability. Although the complication rate was 19%, with a reoperation rate of 12%, the early results show that the NCB PH® is a safe implant for the treatment of proximal humeral fractures.

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