Treatment of comminuted proximal humerus fractures with shoulder hemiarthroplasty in elderly patients

Published online: Aug 27 2005

Syed Neshat ANJUM, Mohammad Sohail BUTT

From the Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, West Midlands, United Kingdom


This retrospective study was done to find out the outcome of hemiarthroplasty of the shoulder following comminuted proximal humeral fractures in 20 elderly patients. Their average age was 77.6 years. The average follow-up was 33 months. All patients were reviewed in the outpatient clinic using the Constant Score. The median Constant Score was 47.5. None of the patients had severe pain. Four had moderate and 16 had no or mild pain. Range of movement was not good. The activities of daily living were significantly reduced in patients with moderate shoulder pain. Sixteen patients (80%) were satisfied with the outcome of the management of their shoulder injury. Radiological assessment showed malrotation of the prosthesis and ectopic ossification in one patient each. Osteolysis around the greater tuberosity was noted with three isoelastic prostheses. Seven patients showed proximal migration of the prosthesis although there was no significant difference in functional results. Complications included fatal pulmonary embolism in one patient. Overall, hemiarthroplasty of the shoulder gave good pain relief but there was only moderate functional improvement.