Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

, Volume 467, Issue 4, pp 1035–1041 | Cite as

Proximal Humerus Reconstructions for Tumors

  • Benjamin K. Potter
  • Sheila C. Adams
  • J. David PitcherJr.
  • Theodore I. Malinin
  • H. Thomas Temple
Original Article


The optimal method for reconstructing the proximal humerus in patients with tumors is controversial. To determine functional outcomes and complication rates after different types of reconstructions, we reviewed a consecutive series of 49 patients who underwent proximal humerus resection and osteoarticular allograft (17 patients), allograft-prosthetic composite (16), or endoprosthetic (16) reconstruction. Operative indications included primary malignancies (24 patients), metastatic disease (19), and benign aggressive disease (six). Implant revision was more common after osteoarticular reconstruction (five of 17) than after allograft-prosthetic composite (one of 16) or endoprosthetic (zero of 16) reconstructions. At a minimum followup of 24 months (median, 98 months; range, 24–214 months) in surviving patients, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society functional scores averaged 79% for the allograft-prosthetic composite, 71% for the osteoarticular allograft, and 69% for the endoprosthetic reconstruction cohorts. Shoulder instability was associated with abductor mechanism compromise and was more common after endoprosthetic reconstruction. Allograft fractures occurred in 53% of patients receiving osteoarticular allografts. We recommend allograft-prosthetic composite reconstruction for younger patients with primary tumors of bone and endoprosthetic reconstruction for older patients with metastatic disease. Because of the unacceptable complication rate, we do not recommend osteoarticular allograft reconstruction for routine use in the proximal humerus.

Level of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


Rotator Cuff Axillary Nerve Osteoarticular Allograft MSTS Score Endoprosthetic Reconstruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin K. Potter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sheila C. Adams
    • 1
  • J. David PitcherJr.
    • 3
  • Theodore I. Malinin
    • 4
  • H. Thomas Temple
    • 4
  1. 1.Musculoskeletal OncologyUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Integrated Department of Orthopaedics and RehabilitationWalter Reed Army Medical CenterWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Musculoskeletal Oncology & Joint DisordersUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Orthopaedics and Pathology, Department of OrthopaedicsUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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