Results of plate fixation for humerus fractures in a large single-center cohort



This study aims to describe the results of plate fixation in one of the largest single-center cohorts that employs plate fixation as the golden standard. Additionally, risk factors related to a negative outcome were identified.

Materials and methods

This was a retrospective cohort study of all patients treated for a humeral shaft fracture in a level-one trauma center between January 2010 and December 2017 with a mean follow-up of 1 year.


Plate fixation was performed in 102 patients with a humeral shaft fracture. The mean age was 50 (SD 20) years with 54.9% (n = 56) being male. Forty-eight percent (n = 48) had an AO type-A, 34.3% (n = 35) type-B, and 18.7% (n = 19) type-C fracture. Deep surgical site infections and non-union occurred in 1% (n = 1) and 3.9% (n = 4) of patients, respectively. Revision of the implant was performed in 15.7% (n = 16) mainly due to implant-related complaints. Only one patient developed radial nerve palsy after surgery. The median duration to radiological fracture healing and full-weight bearing was 18 (range 7–65) weeks and 14 (range 6–56) weeks, respectively. Risk factors for negative outcome included higher age, osteoporosis, open and higher AO class fractures, performing surgery during out-office hours, and the use of LCP 3.5-mm plate and an anterolateral approach.


Plate fixation for humeral shaft fractures has low risks of complications. It should be emphasized that the complications can be further minimized with a greater surgical expertise and by refraining from performing a surgery during out-office hours.

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Correspondence to Frank J. P. Beeres.

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van de Wall, B.J.M., Ganzert, C., Theus, C. et al. Results of plate fixation for humerus fractures in a large single-center cohort. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 140, 1311–1318 (2020).

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  • Plate fixation
  • Humerus shaft fracture