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Concept: Humerus fracture

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BACKGROUND: Proximal humerus fracture is the third most common fracture type after hip and distal radius fracture in elderly patients. A comprehensive study by Palvanen et al. demonstrated an increase in the annual fracture rate of 13.7% per year over the past 33 years. Should this trend continue, the fracture rate would triple over the next three decades. The increasing incidence of low-energy fractures raises questions about the optimal treatment in terms of functional outcome, pain, and rehabilitation time, as well as the economical impact. Despite the high incidence and costs of proximal humerus fractures, there is currently no valid scientific evidence for the best treatment method. Several publications, including a Cochrane review outline the need for high-quality, well-designed randomized controlled trials. METHODS: The study is a prospective, randomized, national multi-center trial. The hypothesis of the trial is that surgical treatment of displaced proximal humerus fractures achieves better functional outcome, pain relief, and patient satisfaction compared to conservative treatment. The trial is designed to compare conservative and surgical treatment of proximal humerus fractures in patients 60 years and older. The trial includes two strata. Stratum I compares surgical treatment with locking plates to conservative treatment for two-part fractures. Stratum II compares multi-fragmented fractures, including three- and four-part fractures. The aim of Stratum II is to compare conservative treatment, surgical treatment with the Philos locking plate, and hemiarthroplasty with an Epoca prosthesis. The primary outcome measure will be the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score and the secondary outcome measures will be the EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) value, OSS, Constant-Murley Score, VAS, and 15D.Recruiting time will be 3 years. The results will be analyzed after the 2-year follow-up period. DISCUSSION: This publication presents a prospective, randomized, national multi-center trial. It gives details of patient flow, randomization, aftercare and also ways of analysis of the material and ways to present and publish the results.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01246167.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Randomized controlled trial, Humerus, The Trial, Humerus fracture, Distal radius fracture, Bone fractures, Arm

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There are two widely used distal humerus fracture (DHF) fixation methods with either orthogonal or parallel double-plate osteosynthesis. However, biomechanical studies have shown inconsistent results on which technique is more effective. We performed a meta-analysis to compare these two fixation methods for adult DHF fixation.

Concepts: Fracture, Humerus, Humerus fracture

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Background and purpose - We aimed to evaluate the ability of artificial intelligence (a deep learning algorithm) to detect and classify proximal humerus fractures using plain anteroposterior shoulder radiographs. Patients and methods - 1,891 images (1 image per person) of normal shoulders (n = 515) and 4 proximal humerus fracture types (greater tuberosity, 346; surgical neck, 514; 3-part, 269; 4-part, 247) classified by 3 specialists were evaluated. We trained a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) after augmentation of a training dataset. The ability of the CNN, as measured by top-1 accuracy, area under receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), sensitivity/specificity, and Youden index, in comparison with humans (28 general physicians, 11 general orthopedists, and 19 orthopedists specialized in the shoulder) to detect and classify proximal humerus fractures was evaluated. Results - The CNN showed a high performance of 96% top-1 accuracy, 1.00 AUC, 0.99/0.97 sensitivity/specificity, and 0.97 Youden index for distinguishing normal shoulders from proximal humerus fractures. In addition, the CNN showed promising results with 65-86% top-1 accuracy, 0.90-0.98 AUC, 0.88/0.83-0.97/0.94 sensitivity/specificity, and 0.71-0.90 Youden index for classifying fracture type. When compared with the human groups, the CNN showed superior performance to that of general physicians and orthopedists, similar performance to orthopedists specialized in the shoulder, and the superior performance of the CNN was more marked in complex 3- and 4-part fractures. Interpretation - The use of artificial intelligence can accurately detect and classify proximal humerus fractures on plain shoulder AP radiographs. Further studies are necessary to determine the feasibility of applying artificial intelligence in the clinic and whether its use could improve care and outcomes compared with current orthopedic assessments.

Concepts: Bone fracture, Humerus, Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, Neural network, Artificial neural network, Receiver operating characteristic, Humerus fracture

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Although acute compartment syndrome (ACS) is associated with pediatric supracondylar humerus (SCH) fractures, there are limited data describing its incidence and risk factors. The purpose of our study was to report the local and national incidence of ACS with SCH and floating elbow (concomitant SCH and forearm) fracture patterns and the associated risk factors.

Concepts: Humerus fracture, Brachioradialis, Compartment syndrome

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To evaluate the functional and radiological results of patients with and without medial calcar continuity in plate osteosynthesis applied for a proximal humerus fracture retrospectively.

Concepts: Fracture, Humerus, Humerus fracture

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Fixation of osteoporotic proximal humerus fractures has remained challenging, but may be improved by careful pre-operative planning. The aim of this study was to investigate how well the failure of locking plate fixation of osteoporotic proximal humerus fractures can be predicted by bone density measures assessed with currently available clinical imaging (realistic case) and a higher resolution and quality modality (theoretical best-case). Various density measures were correlated to experimentally assessed number of cycles to construct failure of plated unstable low-density proximal humerus fractures (N = 18). The influence of density evaluation technique was investigated by comparing local (peri-implant) versus global evaluation regions; HR-pQCT-based versus clinical QCT-based image data; ipsilateral versus contralateral side; and bone mineral content (BMC) versus bone mineral density (BMD). All investigated density measures were significantly correlated with the experimental cycles to failure. The best performing clinically feasible parameter was the QCT-based BMC of the contralateral articular cap region, providing significantly better correlation (R2 = 0.53) compared to a previously proposed clinical density measure (R2 = 0.30). BMC had consistently, but not significantly stronger correlations with failure than BMD. The overall best results were obtained with the ipsilateral HR-pQCT-based local BMC (R2 = 0.74) that may be used for implant optimization. Strong correlations were found between the corresponding density measures of the two CT image sources, as well as between the two sides. Future studies should investigate if BMC of the contralateral articular cap region could provide improved prediction of clinical fixation failure compared to previously proposed measures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone density, Density, Skeletal system, Futurology, Correlation and dependence, Humerus fracture

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In locked plate fixation of proximal humerus fractures, the calcar is an important anchor point for screws providing much-needed medial column support. Most locking plate implants utilize a fixed-trajectory locking screw to achieve this goal. Consequently, adjustments of plate location to account for patient-specific anatomy may result in a screw position outside of the calcar. To date, little is known about the consequences of “missing” the calcar during plate positioning. This study sought to characterize the biomechanics associated with proximal and distal placement of locking plates in a two-part fracture model.

Concepts: Bone, Humerus fracture, Mechanics

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Ulnar nerve dysfunction following distal humerus fractures is a well-recognized phenomenon. There is no consensus regarding optimal handling of the ulnar nerve during surgical management of these fractures between in situ management and transposition. Using an electronic database to identify retrospective studies involving surgical fixation of distal humerus fractures yielded 46 studies, 5 trials meeting the authors' inclusion criteria, totaling 362 patients. An overall incidence of 19.3% for ulnar neuropathy was identified. Of those patients undergoing in situ release, the incidence was 15.3%. Of those who underwent transposition, there was a 23.5% incidence of ulnar neuropathy.

Concepts: Fracture, Humerus, Humerus fracture, Ulnar nerve

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In distal humerus fractures, the goal is to achieve a functional range of motion of 30°-130° which is not always possible. The aims of the study were to evaluate the functional results after distal humerus fracture operation and to investigate the risk factors for stiffness.

Concepts: Fracture, Humerus, Management, Elasticity, Programming language, Project management, Humerus fracture

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Background and purpose - The long-term outcome of pin-fixed supracondylar humerus fractures (SCHF) in children is not well known. We assessed the 7- to 12-year outcome in 168 children. Patients and methods - During 2002-2006, 210 domestic children (age 7 (1-14) years) with SCHF (Gartland III 79%, Gartland II 19%, and flexion type 2%) were pin fixed in Helsinki. 36 (17%) patients had a nerve palsy. Radiographic alignment was regarded as satisfactory in 81% of patients (Baumann angle (BA) within ±10˚ of normal range and whose anterior humeral line (AHL) crossed the capitulum). After a mean follow-up of 9 (7-12) years, 168 (80%) patients answered a questionnaire regarding elbow appearance (scale 0-10), function (scale 0-10), and pain (scale 0-10), and symmetry of range of motion (ROM) and carrying angle (CA). 65 (31%) patients also attended a clinical follow-up examination. Results - Mean subjective score for appearance was 8.7 (2-10) and for function 9.0 (2-10) (n = 168). Elbow ROM asymmetry was experienced by 28% and elbow CA asymmetry by 17% of the patients. Elbow pain was reported by 14%, and was more common in children with nerve injuries. Long-term outcome was good or excellent in 60/65 and CA in 56/65 of the follow-up visit patients using Flynn’s criteria. BA exceeding normal values by 10˚ was associated with lower subjective outcome; AHL crossing point with the capitulum was not associated with outcome. Interpretation - Long-term subjective outcome is satisfactory with few exceptions if elbow ROM and CA are restored within 10° of the uninjured elbow. Radiographs at fracture union have little prognostic value. Nerve injuries can cause long-term pain.

Concepts: Fracture, Radiography, Humerus, Elbow, Prognosis, Extension, Humerus fracture, Brachioradialis