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Effect of Immediate Weightbearing on Plated Fractures of the Humeral Shaft

Tingstad, Edwin M. MD; Wolinsky, Philip R. MD; Shyr, Yu PhD; Johnson, Kenneth D. MD

The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: August 2000 - Volume 49 - Issue 2 - p 278-280
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Background This study evaluated the effect of immediate weightbearing on fractures of the humeral shaft treated with dynamic compression plates.

Methods Eighty-three fractures met the inclusion criteria. The weightbearing status of the humerus was based on associated injuries and not the fracture pattern. There were no differences between the weightbearing and nonweightbearing groups in patient or fracture demographics.

Results Ninety-four percent of the fractures healed after the initial operation. Two in the nonweightbearing group and three in the weightbearing group required a second operation to achieve union. Alignment did not differ between the two groups. Immediate full weightbearing had no effect on the union or malunion rate.

Conclusion When indicated, open reduction and internal fixation of the diaphysis of the humerus, followed by immediate weightbearing through the involved humerus, is a safe and efficacious procedure.

From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery (E.M.T.), and the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation (K.D.J., P.R.W.), New York University, New York, New York, and Division of Biostatistics (Y.S.), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, and Department of Orthopedics.

Submitted for publication January 7, 1999.

Accepted for publication May 4, 2000.

Address for reprints: Edwin M. Tingstad, MD, Inland Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, 623 South Main, Moscow, ID 83843.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.