Immobilization for 1 week after a humeral fracture considered effective conservative care
One week of immobilization was as effective as 3 weeks of immobilization for patients with proximal humeral fractures in results of a prospective study that included mostly Neer two-part fractures treated with the technique.
In her presentation at the Virtual EFORT Congress, Raquel Martínez-Torregrosa of Barcelona, said she and her colleagues studied a group of 49 patients who underwent 1 week of immobilization (group 1) and a group of 62 patients who underwent 3 weeks of immobilization (group 2) for a proximal humeral fracture.
Researchers found no functional or clinical differences between the groups based on the VAS, Constant and simple shoulder test (SST) scores, she said.
“We can conclude that immobilization period in proximal humeral fractures that are treated conservatively can be reduced to 1 week as no differences were found with pain or functionality of the patients whether they were immobilized for 1 week or 3 weeks,” Martínez-Torregrosa said.
The abstract received the Bronze Award for trauma at the meeting.
Researchers randomized patients at their center with proximal humeral fractures treated conservatively into the two groups and followed them up for 1 year, minimum.
Follow-up consisted of the VAS score for pain at 1 week and 3 weeks, and 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after treatment and the Constant score and SST results for function at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after treatment.
Among all the fractures included, 48.65% were Neer two-part fractures.
Martínez-Torregrosa said a secondary objective of the study was to determine whether there were differences in the groups in terms of complications. Results showed “5.41% of the sample had complications,” she said, noting there were three cases of avascular necrosis. Two instances of that complication were in group 1 and one was in group 2, based on the abstract. In addition, results showed two patients in group 2 experienced pseudarthrosis.