Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 134, Issue 11, pp 1545–1550 | Cite as

Treatment of fracture sequelae of the proximal humerus: comparison of hemiarthroplasty and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

  • Eduard Alentorn-Geli
  • Pau Guirro
  • Fernando Santana
  • Carles TorrensEmail author
Trauma Surgery



Fracture sequelae (FS) of the proximal humerus is a challenging scenario in shoulder surgery. Despite they have been traditionally treated with hemiarthroplasty (HA), the use of reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) has been recently introduced. However, there are no studies comparing the results of HA and RSA in FS. The purpose of this study was to compare the functional and quality of life-related outcomes, and complications in the treatment of proximal humeral FS between HA and RSA.

Materials and methods

A therapeutic prospective non-randomized comparative study was conducted. All consecutive patients with diagnosis of FS after non-operative treatment of proximal humeral fractures and no previous shoulder surgery were considered for this study. A total of 32 patients (24 females, 8 males) with a mean (SD) age at the time of surgery of 80.1 (4.9) years were finally included: 12 in the HA group, and 20 in the RSA group. FS were treated with shoulder arthroplasty by the implantation of either HA or RSA. Constant score (total and specific items), quality of life (assessed through SF-36), and complications requiring revision surgery were compared between groups.


All parameters of the Constant score significantly improved in the postoperative compared to preoperative period when considering the entire sample. The RSA group demonstrated a higher improvement in total Constant score (p = 0.06) and Constant activity level (p = 0.02) compared to the HA group. The HA demonstrated a higher number of complications compared to the RSA (p = 0.05). There were no differences in SF-36 scores between both groups.


The shoulder arthroplasty is an effective treatment for FS with significant improvement in pain and function. The RSA may be a better option than HA for FS given the trend towards better total Constant score and a significantly lower number of complications requiring revision surgery.

Level of evidence

Therapeutic level II evidence.


Fracture sequelae Proximal humerus Treatment Hemiarthroplasty Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduard Alentorn-Geli
    • 1
  • Pau Guirro
    • 1
  • Fernando Santana
    • 1
  • Carles Torrens
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Parc de Salut Mar, Hospital del Mar & Hospital de l’EsperançaUniversitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain

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