Fractures of the proximal humerus in children.

Giovanni Luigi Di Gennaro, Mauro Spina, Manuele Lampasi, Rolando Libri, Onofrio Donzelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ninety-one children who had been treated for fractures of the proximal humerus (59 metaphyseal fractures; 32 epiphyseal fractures) from 1980 to 1992 at an average age of 10.7 years (range 3 to 14 years) were reviewed. In 82 cases a nonsurgical treatment (Desault bandage in 11 cases, hanging cast in nine cases, closed reduction and shoulder spica cast in 62 cases) was performed. At a mean time of 7.2 months (range 1 to 156 months), 96% of patients showed good/excellent clinical results. In 15 cases, radiographs were reviewed at a mean follow-up of 8 years (range 1 to 23.5 years): just a slight metaphyseal or meta-diaphyseal varus deformity was found in three cases. In nine cases surgery was required. Patients were reviewed by clinical examination at a mean time of 34.8 months (1-150 months), and in six cases radiographs were reviewed at a mean time of 5 years and 5 months (range 1 to 12.5 years) after surgery. In one case, a septic process occurred, that caused a severe deformity of the epiphysis and a noticeable functional deficit. Good/excellent clinical and radiographic results were achieved in the other patients. Conservative treatment of fractures of the proximal humerus in children is recommended. Surgery should be reserved for specific cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalLa Chirurgia degli organi di movimento
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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