Analysis of early failure of the locking compression plate in osteoporotic proximal humerus fractures

Ivan D. Micic, Kyung Chun Kim, Dong Ju Shin, Sang Jin Shin, Poong Taek Kim, Il Hyung Park, In Ho Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background: Although there has been continuous evolution in the management of fracture fixation, treatment for osteoporotic proximal humerus fractures is still challenging to trauma surgeons. The purpose of this study was to report early failure of the locking compression plate (LCP) in the treatment of osteoporotic proximal humerus fracture and characterize the mode of failure. Methods: Nine patients, older than 65 years, underwent internal fixation with the use of a locking compression plate and had early failure within 4 weeks postoperatively. According to Neer's classification, five were included in a two-part surgical neck fracture, three in a three-part fracture, and one in a four-part fracture. Results: All failures occurred with back-out of the plate-screw construct, leading to varus displacement in eight patients and plate breakage in one. Revision surgery was performed in six patients using replating and tension band wiring with a bone graft, and three patients underwent hemiarthroplasty. The average UCLA score was 25 points for the hemiarthroplasty group and 30 points for the reconstruction group. Conclusions: Early postoperative failure of the LCP developed within 4 weeks with a presentation of en bloc back-out of the plate-screw construct and plate breakage. Possible risk factors included malreduction, loss of medial support, and negligence of tension band sutures on the tuberosities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-601
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


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