Handy E D, Batchom A D, Nana C T, Ngono P C D, Ibrahima F
Background: Surgical management of humeral fractures involves several methods including plate-screw fixation, intramedullary nailing, external fixation, and pinning. Nowadays, the most used surgical method is plate-screw fixation. Objective: The aim of this study was to present the short-, medium- and long-terms outcomes of plate-screw fixation of humeral fractures in three hospitals in the city of Yaoundé. Material and Methods: This was a descriptive and retrospective study with prospective evaluation carried out in the orthopedic and trauma surgery departments of three hospitals in the city of Yaoundé, over a period of 6 years and 4 months. We analyzed the medical records of the operated patients and did a physical reevaluation of the patients using a pre-conceived tested data sheet. The following variables were studied: socio-demographic characteristics, fracture profile, clinical and radiological profile, and the functional prognosis of the shoulder and elbow joints (using the Constant and Murley score, and the Mayo elbow performance score respectively). Data analysis was done using the software Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. Results: Eighty-two cases of osteosynthesis were recorded. The mean age of the patients was 37.9 ± 11.5 [16 – 71] years and there was a male predominance (sex ratio of 2.7). The dominant humerus was most involved (96.4%). Closed fractures were predominant (65.8%), and the majority (47%) of them were simple fractures. The diaphysis was the most affected bone part (69.5%). Road traffic accidents accounted for 70.7% of the fractures. Two patients had a polytrauma, 26 had multiple fractures, and 54 had an isolated humeral fracture. The mean operating time (for the osteosynthesis) was 122 min and the mean blood loss volume during surgery was 296 cc. There was a significant correlation between these two variables. Postoperative complications included 8 cases of postoperative radial palsies (who recovered within an average of 4 months), 06 cases of superficial skin infections, 05 cases of secondary displacements, 03 cases of implant damage and 02 cases of vicious callus. The bone reductions were sub-anatomical in 79% and cortical fixation was good in 72.6% of cases. Consolidation was achieved within an average of 18 weeks. The consolidation time significantly varied according to the type of fracture line and the type of reduction obtained. Functional recovery of the shoulder and elbow was nearly normal in all patients. The mean Constant and Murley score was 96.9 while the mean Mayo elbow performance score of 97.3. Conclusions: Plate-screw fixation enables an adequate management of humeral fractures with acceptable clinical and radiological results, low complication rates, and good functional outcomes.
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