Surgical treatment of pathologic fractures of humerus.

06:00 EDT 11th September 2010 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Surgical treatment of pathologic fractures of humerus."

This study evaluates different operative treatment options for patients with metastatic fractures of the humerus focusing on surgical procedures, complications, function, and survival rate. From January 2003 to January 2008, 87 pathological fractures of the humerus in 85 cancer patients were surgically treated in our institutions. Histotypes were breast (n=21), lung (n=14), prostate (n=5), bladder (n=4), kidney (n=13), thyroid (n=7), larynx (n=1), lymphoma (n=5), myeloma (n=8), colon-rectum (n=1), melanoma (n=1), testicle (n=1), hepatocellular carcinoma (n=1) and unknown tumours (n=3). Lesions of the proximal epiphysis were treated with resection and endoprosthetic replacement (n=30). The remaining 57 fractures were stabilized with antegrade unreamed intra-medullary locked nailing without (9 cases) or with resection and use of cement (48 cases). The function of the upper limb was assessed using the Musculo-Skeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) rating scale and survival rate was retrospectively analysed. The mean survival time of patients after surgery was 8.3 months. Complications of endoprosthetic replacement recorded included disease relapse (n=3), soft tissue infection (n=2) and palsy of musculocutaneous nerve (n=1) whereas, for intra-medullary locked nailing there were three cases of soft tissue infection and one case of radial nerve palsy. The mean MSTS score at follow-up was 73% for endoprosthesis and 79.2% for locked intra-medullary nailing. Endoprosthetic replacement of the proximal humerus provides a good function of the upper limb, a low risk of local relapse with a low complication rate at follow-up. Unreamed nailing provides immediate stability and pain relief, minimum morbidity and early return of function.


Unit of Orthopedic Oncology, CTO Hospital, Via San Nemesio 21, 00145 Rome, Italy.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Injury
ISSN: 1879-0267


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