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• Fracture Indications • Associated Injuries • Patient Indications
– Failure to obtain and maintain adequate closed reduction• Shortening >3 cm• Rotation >30 degrees • Angulation >20 degrees
– Segmental fracture– Pathological fracture– Intraarticular extension – Shoulder jointElbow joint
Associated Injuries • Open wound• Vascular injury• Brachial plexus injury• Ipsilateral forearm fracture• Ipsilateral shoulder or elbow fracture• Bilateral humeral fractures• Lower extremity fracture requiring upper extremity
weight bearing• Burns• High-velocity gunshot injury• Chronic associated joint stiffness of elbow or shoulder
• Multiple injuries, polytrauma• Head injury (Glasgow Coma Scale score = 8)• Chest trauma• Poor patient tolerance, compliance• Unfavorable body habitus – Morbid obesity– Large breasts
• Fractures of the middle / proximal third– Anterolateral (brachialis-spliting approach)
• Midshaft or extend into the the distal third humerus – Posterior approach ( triceps splitting or modified
posterior approach )• w
• Place the patient in a lateral decubitus position.
• Use a wide proximal preparation and drape to allow for the use of a sterile tourniquet.
• Make an incision from the tourniquet to the tip of the olecranon in line with the humerus
- Carry dissection down to the triceps fascia, incise the fascia, and carry the dissection laterally to the intermuscular septum.
- Identify the lower lateral brachial cutaneous nerve, and follow it proximally where it meets the radial nerve as it pierces the septum. This usually is at the level of the tourniquet. Release the tourniquet.
- Identify the radial nerve.- Dissect the triceps muscle proximally off the intermuscular septum.- Free the radial nerve proximally, distally, anteriorly, and posteriorly, including incision
of the lateral intermuscular septum for 3 cm to allow mobilization of the nerve.- Incise the triceps off the periosteum to expose the humerus; preserve as much of the
periosteum as possible.- Proximally, reflect the posterior border of the deltoid anteriorly if needed for
exposure.- Place a single bone clamp proximal and distal to control the fragments and reflect the
triceps . Avoid circumferential stripping of the soft tissues with the clamp.
• After débridement of the fracture site, insert a lag screw for provisional fixation. Alternatively, for transverse fractures where lag screw fixation is difficult, a compression plating technique can be used, or a minifragment plate (Eglseder technique) can be used for provisional fixation, followed by plate fixation.
• Perform large-fragment plating in neutralization, compression, or bridge-plating mode.
• Confirm alignment of the humerus and reduction of the fragments with fluoroscopy.
• Perform routine skin closure over a drain.
• Postoperatively, range of motion of the shoulder and elbow is begun within the first week, and weight bearing usually is allowed if fixation is stable.
• Radial nerve palsy• Infection • refractures