The functional outcome of 27 patients (16 males, 11 females) with a proximal humeral fracture was evaluated using the Simple Shoulder Test. Fifteen patients were also assessed using the Constant system. The mean age of the patients was 46.3 years (range 16-90 years) and the mean follow-up was 14 months (range 6-29 months). There were ten 2-part fractures, eight minimally displaced fractures, two 3-part fractures, three 4-part fractures, three 1-part fracture-dislocations and one 3 parts fracture-dislocation. Twenty-four fractures were treated conservatively and 3 surgically. Thirteen patients (48%) regained full function on the simple shoulder test and almost all regained range of movement sufficient for activities of daily living. Six patients were not able to return to their previous job. All patients were pain free at rest and were able to sleep on the affected side comfortably, although 9 patients had pain with activity, even though most pain were mild in nature. The mean Constant scores for the fractured arm and the normal arm were 72.5 points and 91 points respectively. The strength of shoulder abduction was reduced by a mean of 34%. Although the outcome was generally satisfactory, there was nevertheless a statistically significant deterioration of function following the fracture.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.