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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology

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Percutaneous elastic fixation of proximal humeral fractures: operative indications, techniques, results and complications

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We present a technique of osteosynthesis of proximal humeral fractures using Kirschner wires, assembled in an elastic manner. We report 29 patients (mean age, 68 years) with types II, III and V fractures, according to Neer's classification, treated with closed or open (seldom) reduction and percutaneous pinning. The pin placement was antegrade: the wires started on the epiphysis and aimed at the diaphysis, with the proximal ends fixed with an external clamp and the distal ends crossed and laying on the endosteal surface. Patients were evaluated with the Constant-Murley scale at the end of treatment. Radiological and clinical outcome was satisfactory in all but one patient, in whom the closed reduction was insufficient. Percutaneous elastic pinning is an effective treatment of proximal humeral fractures. If necessary, it should be associated with open reduction.

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Received: 20 August 2001/Accepted: 6 September 2001

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  • Key words Proximal humeral fractures
  • Elastic osteosynthesis
  • Percutaneous pinning