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Health  2024 

Early Treatment Outcome of Humeral Shaft Fracture Non-Union in Adults: Comparative Study of Plating versus Interlocking Nailing

DOI: 10.4236/health.2024.164026, PP. 371-381

Keywords: Humeral Shaft, Non-Union, Dynamic Compression Plating, Locked Intra-Medullary Nailing, Early Treatment Outcome, Early Outcome

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Background: Fractures of humeral shaft in adults are common injuries. Humeral shafts non-union either from late presentation after initial treatment by traditional bone setters or failed non-operative orthodox care is a major problem in this part of the world. This non-union is a major treatment challenge with increased cost of care and morbidity in this part of the world. Humeral shaft non-union can be treated with locked intra-medullary nailing (LIMN) or dynamic compression plating (DCP). Study on comparison of these methods of fixation in this part of the world is scarce in literature search, hence the reason for this study. Objective: The objectives of this study are: (1) to compare early clinical outcome following fixation of humeral shaft fracture nonunion with DCP versus LIMN; (2) to compare the time of radiologic fracture union of DCP with LIMN; (3) to compare complications following fixation of humeral shaft fracture nonunion with DCP versus LIMN. Patients and Methods: This was a randomized control study done for 2 years in which fifty adult patients with humeral shaft non-union were recruited. The patients were grouped into 2 (P = DCP & N = LIMN). Forty five of the patients completed the follow up periods of the study and then analyzed. The P group had ORIF with DCP while the N group had ORIF with LIMN. Both groups had grafting with cancellous bones. Each patient was followed up for a period of 6 months at the time which radiographic union is expected. Any patient without clinical and/or radiographic evidence of union after six months of surgery was diagnosed as having recurrent non-union. The data generated was analyzed using SPSS Version 23. The results were presented in charts and tables. The paired t-test was used while considering p value < 0.05 as statistically significant. Result: Forty five patients completed follow up. There was a male preponderance (4:1), right humerus predominated (3:2). Motor vehicular accidents were the commonest cause of the fractures (62%). Most non-union fractures occurred at the level of the middle 3rd of the humeral shaft (60%). Failed TBS treatment was the commonest indication for the osteosynthesis (71%). More patients had plating (53%) compared to 47% who had LIMN. Most patients (93.4%) had union between 3 to 6 months irrespective of fixation type with no significant statistical difference between the union rate of DCP and LIMN (p value 0.06) with similar functional outcome and complication rates


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