Antegrade Nailing of Humeral Head Fractures with Captured Interlocking Screws : Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma

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Original Article

Antegrade Nailing of Humeral Head Fractures with Captured Interlocking Screws

Linhart, Wolfgang MD*†; Ueblacker, Peter MD*; Groterlinden, Lars MD; Kschowak, Philipp*; Briem, Daniel MD*; Janssen, Arne MD*; Hassunizadeh, Behrus MD*; Schinke, Marte MD*; Windolf, Joachim MD*†; Rueger, Johannes Maria MD*

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Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 21(5):p 285-294, May 2007. | DOI: 10.1097/BOT.0b013e318059b5a1



To assess the functional outcome after treatment of proximal humeral fractures with a new antegrade nail that provides angular and sliding stability.


Ninety-seven patients were treated during a 4-year period between April 2000 and March 2004. All patients were followed for 6 months, 51 patients (53%) for 12 months, and 31 patients (32%) for 24 months. This study focuses mainly on the patients with a follow up of 1 year. Their mean age was 68 years (range: 33 to 90); 22% were more than 80 years of age.

Main Outcome Measurements: 

All fractures were radiologically graded by the Neer and AO/ASIF classifications. Clinical assessment was performed at all follow-up visits using the Constant-Murley and Neer scores, and complications were recorded.


There were 26.8% 2-part, 66% 3-part, and 7.2% 4-part fractures. The relative Constant-Murley score improved significantly (P < 0.001) from 72% at 6 months to 82% at 12 months after operation. No further improvement regarding functional outcome was observed after 24 months. Patients younger than 60 years of age had better results. No significant functional differences were found among 2-, 3- or 4-part fractures. Complications included backing out of the proximal screws (9.8%), secondary dislocation (1.9%), complete osteonecrosis (1.9%), and partial osteonecrosis (5.8%).


Treatment with this nail provides sufficient fixation of the fragments to allow early mobilization. The good functional results in the majority of the patients indicate that this nail can be used, even in complex fractures and elderly patients.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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