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Outcomes of locking plate fixation with fibular allograft augmentation for proximal humeral fractures in osteoporotic patients

comparison with locking plate fixation alone

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological outcomes of locking plate fixation, with and without an associated fibular strut allograft, for the treatment of displaced proximal humeral fractures in elderly osteoporotic patients.

Patients and Methods

We undertook a retrospective comparison of two methods of fixation, using a locking plate without an associated fibular strut allograft (LP group) and with a fibular allograft (FA group) for the treatment of these fractures. The outcome was assessed for 52 patients in the LP group and 45 in the FA group, with a mean age of 74.3 years (52 to 89), at a mean follow-up of 14.2 months (12 to 19). The clinical results were evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS) score for pain, the Constant score, the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, and the range of movement. Radiological results were evaluated using the neck-shaft angle (NSA) and humeral head height (HHH).


The mean forward elevation in the LP and FA groups was 125.3° (sd 21.4) and 148.9° (sd 19.8), respectively (p = 0.042), while other clinical factors showed no statistically significant differences between the groups. The changes in NSA and HHH immediately after the operation and at final follow-up were significantly better in the FA group than in the LP group (p = 0.015 and p = 0.021, respectively).


For comminuted proximal humeral fractures in osteoporotic patients, locking plate fixation with a fibular strut allograft shows satisfactory short-term results with respect to humeral head support and maintenance of reduction, and may reduce the incidence of complications associated with fixation using a locking plate alone.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:260–265.

Correspondence should be sent to J. W. Kim; email:

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