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01.08.2016 | Originalien | Ausgabe 6/2016

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 6/2016

Outcome after operative treatment of proximal humeral fractures in elderly patients

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie > Ausgabe 6/2016
Priv. Doz. Dr. med. Markus Muhm, Julia Bott, Christoph Lahr, Hartmut Winkler, Thomas Ruffing



The proximal humeral fracture (PHF) (5 %) of the elderly is the third most common fracture after proximal femoral and distal radius fractures. Proximal femoral fractures often lead to a loss of autonomy.


The aim of this study is to show how PHF changes the patient’s autonomy and the coping with everyday life as well as which factors influence the outcome 1 year (y) after surgery.

Materials and methods

Data of 62 patients with surgical treatment of a PHF ≥ 60 y was prospectively collected. With a telephone interview Short Form (SF) 12 (physical and mental health; PH, MH), Barthel Index (BI), range of motion, pain, and satisfaction was observed after 3 and 12 months. The dependence of outcome on different factors was investigated.


The mean age was 73.3 y (median 73, 60–94). Mortality after 3 months was 3 % and after 1 y 11 %. The PH before the injury (47.9) was significantly better than after 3 months (37.1) and after 1 y (42.6). The MH showed no difference. The BI before the injury (92) was significantly better than after 3 months (86), but the same after 1 y (91). After 1 y > 50 % were able to abduct and flex the arm > 90°. More than two-thirds were able to perform everyday life activities for body care and nutrition after 1 y. Approximately, 73 % of the patients had little or no pain, and 84 % were satisfied with the result after 1 y. Good score values before the fracture resulted in better outcome. Higher severity in fracture led to a higher level of pain.


A surgically treated PHF in the elderly does not lead to a relevant impairment in quality of life. Despite the lack of complete retrieval of range of motion patients achieve a good to very good result in coping with everyday life.

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