Complications of operative fixation of proximal humeral fractures in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Adam M SmithRobert H Cofield


Currently, there is no information in the literature on operative treatment of proximal humeral fractures in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Eleven patients underwent osteosynthesis of the proximal humerus from December 1987 to December 2002. Nine patients were treated for acute fractures, and two were treated for nonunions. Four had loss of initial anatomic reduction, two were treated nonoperatively with resultant malunion, and two required revision fixation. Two patients with symptomatic pseudarthrosis were treated with internal fixation and bone grafting. Both had complications (1 requiring hemiarthroplasty after painful nonunion and 1 with chondrolysis). All patients with acute fractures achieved fracture union. One patient had an excellent result, four had satisfactory results, and six had an unsatisfactory result. Patients and treating physicians should be aware of the high rate of complications and unsatisfactory results in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who undergo operative treatment of proximal humeral fractures.


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Sep 23, 2008·The Orthopedic Clinics of North America·Emilie V Cheung, John W Sperling
Nov 4, 2011·The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume·Matthew T ProvencherBrian J Cole

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