The Translated Proximal Humerus Fracture: A Comparison of Operative and Nonoperative Management

Filip Cosic, Nathan Kirzner, Elton Edwards, Richard Page, Lara Kimmel, Belinda Gabbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To report on the long-term outcomes of the management of translated proximal humerus fractures. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study was conducted from January 2010 to December 2018. SETTING: Academic Level 1 trauma center. PARTICIPANTS/PATIENTS: A total of 108 patients with a proximal humerus fracture with ≥100% translation, defined as no cortical bony contact between the shaft and humeral head fragments, were included. INTERVENTION: Patients were managed nonoperatively with sling immobilization or with operative management as determined by the treating surgeon. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measures were the Oxford Shoulder Score, EQ-5D-5L, return to work, and radiological outcomes. Complications recorded included further surgery, loss of position/fixation, nonunion/malunion, and avascular necrosis. RESULTS: Of the 108 patients, 76 underwent operative intervention and 32 were managed nonoperatively. The mean (SD) age in the operative group was 54.3 (±20.2) years and in the nonoperative group was 73.3 (±15.3) years ( P < 0.001). There was no association between Oxford Shoulder Score and management options (mean 38.5 [±9.5] operative versus mean 41.3 [±8.5] nonoperative, P = 0.48). Operative management was associated with improved health status outcomes; EQ-5D utility score adjusted mean difference was 0.16 (95% CI, 0.04-0.27; P = 0.008); EQ-5D VAS adjusted mean difference was 19.2 (95% CI, 5.2-33.2; P = 0.008). Operative management was associated with a lower odds of nonunion (adjusted OR 0.30; 95% CI, 0.09-0.97; P = 0.04), malunion (adjusted OR 0.14; 95% CI, 0.04-0.51; P = 0.003), and complications (adjusted OR 0.07; 95% CI, 0.02-0.32; P = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Translated proximal humerus fractures with ≥100% displacement demonstrate improved health status and radiological outcomes after surgical fixation. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e341-e348
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

Cite this