Background The purpose of this study was to investigate whether healed tuberosities yield better rotational range of motion (ROM) and functional outcomes compared with unhealed tuberosities after reverse shoulder arthroplasty in elderly patients with comminuted proximal humerus fractures. Methods This study included 38 patients who underwent reverse arthroplasty because of 4-part proximal humerus fractures; 14 patients had healed tuberosities (group A) and 24 patients had unhealed tuberosities (group B). Functional assessments included visual analog scale pain score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, Constant score, and active ROM. Results There were no significant differences in the patients’ demographics between the 2 groups. At final follow-up, no significant differences were found between groups in visual analog scale score (group A, 1.4; group B, 1.6; P =.647), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (74.3 and 70.7; P =.231), and Constant score (67.9 and 63.9; P =.228) and ROM with forward flexion and internal rotation. However, in external rotation, there was a significant difference between groups (29° and 10° in external rotation with the elbow at the side [P <.001]; 25° and 7° in external rotation with shoulder abduction [P <.001]). Conclusion After reverse shoulder arthroplasty for 4-part proximal humerus fracture, tuberosities were healed in an anatomic position in 37% of patients. However, there were no significant differences in functional outcomes and ROM between the 2 groups, with the exception of external rotation, which was better in the healed tuberosity group. Therefore, tuberosity healing is not a prerequisite for satisfactory outcomes after reverse shoulder arthroplasty for 4-part proximal humerus fractures in elderly patients.
- Proximal humerus