Clin Orthop Surg.  2021 Sep;13(3):293-300. 10.4055/cios20212.

Open Reduction and Stable Internal Fixation Using a 3.5-mm Locking Hook Plate for Isolated Fractures of the Greater Tuberosity of the Humerus: A 2-Year Follow-up Study Using an Innovative Fixation Method

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chungnam National University Hospital, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2Shoulder Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, TanTan Hospital, Daejeon, Korea


The best treatment for isolated greater tuberosity (GT) fractures is still controversial. Although previous studies have suggested surgical options, they are either unable to provide firm fixation or present with a variety of complications.
We retrospectively studied the records of patients with isolated GT fractures who underwent open reduction and internal fixation using a 3.5-mm locking hook plate between January 2016 and January 2018. The surgical indication was an at least 5-mm displacement of the GT as observed in either simple radiography or three-dimensional computed tomography. Clinical outcomes were assessed using the following five parameters shortly before implant removal and at the final follow-up: visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Shoulder Rating Scale of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Constant-Murley score, and range of motion.
Twenty-one patients with a mean age of 64 years were included. Bone union was achieved within 12–20 weeks of the first surgery in all patients. Implant removal was performed between 13 and 22 weeks after surgery. At the final follow-up, the mean VAS pain score, forward flexion, abduction, external rotation, internal rotation, ASES score, UCLA score, and ConstantMurley score were significantly better when compared to outcomes shortly before implant removal (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.008, p = 0.003, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001, respectively).
The 3.5-mm locking hook plate provided sufficient stability and led to satisfactory clinical and radiological outcomes for isolated GT fractures. However, the hook plate may irritate the rotator cuff, and postoperative stiffness may be inevitable. Therefore, second surgery for implant removal is necessary after bone union is achieved.


Greater tuberosity fracture; Proximal humerus; Olecranon; Hook plate; Rotator cuff
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