Five-year follow-up results of the PROFHER trial comparing operative and non-operative treatment of adults with a displaced fracture of the proximal humerus

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Abstract

Aims

The PROximal Fracture of the Humerus Evaluation by Randomisation (PROFHER) randomised clinical trial compared the operative and non-operative treatment of adults with a displaced fracture of the proximal humerus involving the surgical neck. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term treatment effects beyond the two-year follow-up.

Patients and Methods

Of the original 250 trial participants, 176 consented to extended follow-up and were sent postal questionnaires at three, four and five years after recruitment to the trial. The Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS; the primary outcome), EuroQol 5D-3L (EQ-5D-3L), and any recent shoulder operations and fracture data were collected. Statistical and economic analyses, consistent with those of the main trial were applied.

Results

OSS data were available for 164, 155 and 149 participants at three, four and five years, respectively. There were no statistically or clinically significant differences between operative and non-operative treatment at each follow-up point. No participant had secondary shoulder surgery for a new complication. Analyses of EQ-5D-3L data showed no significant between-group differences in quality of life over time.

Conclusion

These results confirm that the main findings of the PROFHER trial over two years are unchanged at five years.

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