Cemil Yıldız, Mustafa Kürklü, Hüseyin Özkan, Serkan Bilgiç, Ali Şehirlioğlu, Yüksel Yurttaş, Barbaros Baykal, Mahmut Kömürcü, Mustafa Başbozkurt

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Gülhane Military Medical School, Ankara, Turkey

Keywords: AO tension band; humerus fractures; surgery.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to report our functional results after an intramedullary Kirschner wires (K-wires) and tension band wiring combination for the treatment of a large group of humeral head fractures was performed.
Patients and methods: Seventy-four patients (54 females, 20 males; mean age 42 years; range 24 to 73 years) who had proximal humerus fractures were treated with an intramedullary K-wire and tension band technique and were retrospectively analyzed. Fracture patterns were according to Neer classification type II in 43 patients, type III in 23 patients and type IV in five patients. The Constant-Murley shoulder score test was used to evaluate the function of both shoulders. The outcome was graded according to Neer’s criteria. The pain score was determined with a 10-point visual analog scale.
Results: All fractures were healed (radiologically and clinically) within 3.6 months (range 2.5 to 4.7 months) after the surgery. In one patient, the cerclage wire was broken and in eight patients, K-wires produced impingement like symptoms that required a second procedure (wire removal) after healing. The results of the patients with regard to Constant-Murley score and Neer criteria were indifferent when the 6th and the 12th month data were compared (p<0.05). Visual analog scale scores of the patients between the two control visits were significant different (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The type of fixation depends on the bone quality and the degree of comminution. But the recent trend is towards osteosynthesis -the limited, less invasive technique- which is performed with minimal soft tissue dissection and minimal osteosynthesis. It allows less stripping of bone and therefore preservation of the blood supply to the humeral head. This procedure is simple to perform and provides good postoperative results.