To evaluate tuberosity union rate and clinical outcome after 3- and 4-part proximal humerus fractures in the elderly.
Retrospective, multicenter database cohort study.
Level I and Level II trauma centers.
Fifty-five patients older than 65 years had insertion of reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) for OTA/AO 11-B and 11-C proximal humerus fractures.
Treatment with RTSA using a dedicated low profile onlay fracture stem using variable tuberosity fixation.
Main Outcome Measures:
Constant score, the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, Shoulder Pain and Disability Index score, University of California at Los Angeles score, Simple Shoulder Test score, visual analog pain score, shoulder function score, active range of motion, external rotation (ER)-specific tasks and position, rate of greater tuberosity healing, effect of tuberosity healing on overall clinical metrics, incidence of humeral lucency, and scapular notching.
Eighty-three percent of the greater tuberosities that were repaired united. Greater tuberosity union resulted in greater active ER (P = 0.0415). There was a statistically significant difference in the ability to do ER-type activities between the 2 cohorts reflected in the ability to position one's hand behind their head with the elbow forward (P = 0.002) and comb their hair (P < 0.001).
The use of a low profile onlay fracture stem in RTSA for acute 3- and 4-part proximal humerus fractures in the elderly can result in a high tuberosity union rate. Greater tuberosity healing significantly influences ER and ER-type activities that are not apparent by analysis of the overall metrics studied.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.