Moursy, Mohamed, Wegmann, Kilian, Wichlas, Florian and Tauber, Mark . Distal humerus fracture in patients over 70 years of age: results of open reduction and internal fixation. Arch. Orthop. Trauma Surg.. NEW YORK: SPRINGER. ISSN 1434-3916

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Background Due to the complexity of distal humerusfractures and often poor bone quality in elderly patients, these entities remain a challenge. However, because of a high rate of complications related to total elbow prostheses, reconstruction of distal humerus fractures should still be considered a therapeutic option, also in the elderly patient. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the clinical outcomes after open reduction and internal fixation and to evaluate whether the results justify reconstruction even in elderly patients. We hypothesized that despite advanced age, reasonable clinical results can be achieved, using a standardized surgical technique and aftertreatment protocol for the treatment of distal humerus fractures in elderly patients. Methods Between 2004 and 2012, 30 patients with a mean age of 78 years at the time of injury with a recent distal humerus fracture were evaluated. All patients underwent the identical aftertreatment protocol with no weight bearing for 6 weeks and weekly increasing range of motion. Follow-up rate was 90%. 22 patients were treated with double plate, 4 with single plate, and 1 with screw fixation only. Patients were evaluated based on clinical criteria. Primary outcome measures were Mayo Elbow Performance Score, VAS and joint range of motion, secondary was radiological evaluation. Results After a mean follow-up period of 3.8 years (min. 1 year, max. 9 years, SD +/- 2), the average range of motion was flexion of 127 degrees (min. 100 degrees; max. 150 degrees; SD +/- 16.5) and average loss of extension of 20.9 degrees (min. 5 degrees; max. 40 degrees; SD +/- 11). Average pronation and supination was 68.3 degrees (min. 0 degrees; max. 90 degrees; SD +/- 25.3) and 75.3 degrees (min. 0 degrees; max. 90 degrees; SD +/- 19.7), respectively. Average Mayo Elbow Performance (MEPS) score was 88.7 (min. 60; max. 100; SD +/- 12.1). 6 patients developed heterotopic ossification without significant effect on the clinical outcome. 7 patients had radiological evidence of at least partial non-union with one requiring revision, 2 discrete hardware dislocations were treated conservatively. There were no infections in the presented cohort. Our results regarding the surgical approach showed significantly higher patient satisfaction scores in the osteotomy group, compared to the group with Triceps-On Approach (PTOA). Conclusion The present data support indication for open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) even in the elderly patient. Advanced age should not be seen as a contraindication for ORIF of fractures of the distal humerus. Although the rate of complications is higher than in younger patients, complications such as non-union are often asymptomatic, patient satisfaction scores are high, and the possible devastating complications of failed elbow replacement can be evaded.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-312086
DOI: 10.1007/s00402-020-03664-4
Journal or Publication Title: Arch. Orthop. Trauma Surg.
Publisher: SPRINGER
Place of Publication: NEW YORK
ISSN: 1434-3916
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Orthopedics; SurgeryMultiple languages


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