Open reduction and internal fixation of two-part displaced fractures of the greater tuberosity of the proximal part of the humerus.


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Abstract

Twelve patients, ranging in age from thirty-four to seventy-two years (average, fifty-three years), were evaluated an average of five years (range, two to eight years) after open reduction and internal fixation of a two-part displaced fracture of the greater tuberosity of the proximal part of the humerus. The indication for operative reduction was one centimeter or more of displacement of the fracture as seen on the diagnostic radiographs. The anterosuperior deltoid-splitting approach, combined with rotation of the humerus, allowed adequate exposure of the retracted tuberosity. Internal fixation of the greater tuberosity with heavy, non-absorbable sutures and careful repair of the rotator cuff permitted early passive motion. All fractures healed without postoperative displacement. Six patients had an excellent result and six had a good result; active elevation averaged 170 degrees. There was one partial, transient palsy of the axillary nerve.

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