Biomechanical comparison of screw-based zoning of PHILOS and Fx proximal humerus plates

A. Jabran, Chris Peach, Zhenmin Zou, Lei Ren

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Treatment of proximal humerus fractures with locking plates is associated with complications. We aimed to compare the biomechanical effects of removing screws and blade of a fixed angle locking plate and hybrid blade plate, on a two-part fracture model.

Forty-five synthetic humeri were divided into nine groups where four were implanted with a hybrid blade plate and the remaining with locking plate, to treat a two-part surgical neck fracture. Plates’ head screws and blades were divided into zones based on their distance from fracture site. Two groups acted as a control for each plate and the remaining seven had either a vacant zone or blade swapped with screws. For elastic cantilever bending, humeral head was fixed and the shaft was displaced 5 mm in extension, flexion, valgus and varus direction. Specimens were further loaded in varus direction to investigate their plastic behaviour.

In both plates, removal of inferomedial screws or blade led to a significantly larger drop in varus construct stiffness than other zones. In blade plate, insertion of screws in place of blade significantly increased the mean extension, flexion valgus and varus bending stiffness (24.458%/16.623%/19.493%/14.137%). In locking plate, removal of screw zones proximal to the inferomedial screws reduced extension and flexion bending stiffness by 26–33%.

Although medial support improved varus stability, two inferomedial screws were more effective than blade. Proximal screws are important for extension and flexion. Mechanical consequences of screw removal should be considered when deciding the number and choice of screws and blade in clinic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number253
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018

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