Operative Treatment of 2-Part Surgical Neck Fracture of the Humerus: Intramedullary Nail Versus Locking Compression Plate With Technical Consideration

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Abstract

Objective:

To compare the outcomes of patients who underwent either open reduction internal fixation with a locking plate and screws or closed reduction internal fixation with an antegrade intramedullary nail (IMN) for displaced surgical neck fracture of the humerus.

Design:

Retrospective comparative study.

Setting:

Single institute, Level-I academic trauma center.

Patients and Intervention:

Sixty-nine patients with 2-part surgical neck fracture of the humerus underwent either an IMN (38 patients group A) or a locked plate fixation (31 patients group B).

Outcomes Measurement:

Pain on a visual analog scale, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Shoulder Score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, and active range of motion (ROM).

Results:

At the 2-year follow-up, there were no significant differences in the visual analog scale pain score (1.3 in group A; 0.9 in group B), ASES score (90.2 in group A; 91.9 in group B), and UCLA Shoulder Score (30.7 in group A; 31.8 in group B) between groups. Active ROM did not differ significantly between groups. There were 3 complications in the IMN group, 1 nonunion requiring autogenous iliac crest bone graft, and 2 cases of screw loosening.

Conclusions:

For displaced surgical neck fractures of the humerus, both IM nailing and locked plate fixation in patients yielded satisfactory outcomes at the 2-year follow-up with no significant differences in pain or ROM between groups.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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