Functional and Radiographic Long Term Outcomes of Hemiarthroplasty For Proximal Humeral Fractures

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Hemiarthroplasty is the preferred surgical procedure for 3- and 4-part proximal humeral fractures. Our retrospective study examined functional and radiographic outcomes at 2- and 5-year follow-up in patients who received a hemiarthroplasty for 3- and 4-part proximal humeral fractures.

Materials and methods

Forty-seven consecutive patients of a single surgeon treated with a cemented shoulder hemiarthroplasty between 2000 and 2006 were followed up. Standard surgical technique was used in all cases. Postoperative radiographs were compared with radiographs at 2 and 5 years along with active range of motion and functional outcomes scores.


Twenty-five patients were examined at 2 years and twenty-two at 2 and 5 years. The mean age was 61 years. The mean acromiohumeral distance decreased from 10.3 mm postoperatively to 8.5 mm at 2 years and 6.7 mm at 5 years (P ≤ .001). More patients had stem osteolysis and tuberosity reabsorption at 2 and 5 years compared with postoperatively (P = .016 and P ≤ .001, respectively). The University of California, Los Angeles score decreased from 26.0 to 22.3 (P = .045); the Constant score decreased from 61.1 to 50.1 (P = .01); the Simple Shoulder Test 12 score decreased from 7.7 to 6.2 (P = .018); and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score decreased from 70.4 to 58.8 (P = .015). Pain scores increased from 2- to 5-year follow-up (P = .018). The range-of-motion measures changed little from the 2-to 5-year follow-up.


Hemiarthroplasty has a high rate of long-term complications. Increases in acromiohumeral distance, stem osteolysis, and tuberosity reabsorption were observed between 2- and 5-year follow-up. Pain scores and functional outcomes worsened. No improvement in range of motion was observed.



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