Background: Young adults and the elderly frequently suffer from distal humerus fractures. Although internal fixation technology has advanced, treating these fractures still poses difficulties. Both orthogonal and parallel plating offer sufficient functional outcomes and mechanically stable structures that enable early mobilization and a wider range of motion.
Aim: The aim of the study is to assess the clinical as well as functional results of these fractures operated with orthogonal plating.
Study and design: Prospective study in Government Royapettah Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Materials and methods: A total of 25 patients with comminuted fractures of the distal humerus from January 2012 to 2017 in the age-group of 18–65 years were included in the study and were operated on with orthogonal plating. All the patients were followed at 3, 6, 12, and 24 weeks, and at 1 year. During follow-up, patients were assessed in terms of time for union, range of motion, Mayo score, disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) score, and complication rate.
Results: At the final follow-up, Mayo score was 96.32 ± 04.96 from 5.00 ± 01.26, and the DASH score was 31.42 ± 2.04, which dropped from 150 ± 05.34, range of motion improved from 21.38 to 116.1 with 100% union rate and complications <17%.
Conclusion: Orthogonal plating is an excellent method for fixing the distal humerus, which is biomechanically stable, providing an advantage of early mobilization with a fracture union rate comparable to other studies with good to excellent outcomes according to the Mayo and DASH scores with minimal complications. Olecranon osteotomy provides good exposure to the fracture, which aids in the anatomical reduction of the fracture.
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