Internal Fixation Versus Arthroplasty of Comminuted Fractures of the Distal Humerus
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BACKGROUND: A comminuted distal humerus fracture in an older patient is a difficult clinical problem. Open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) carries the risks of nonunion, loss of fixation, infection, and stiffness. Arthroplasty carries the risks of loosening, infection, and periprosthetic fracture. Both procedures are technically challenging, and complications following these procedures are frequent. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate best available evidence to assist in guiding clinical decision making for ORIF versus arthroplasty of intraarticular distal humeral fractures in elderly patients. HIGHEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE: 1. Case series of internal fixation or arthroplasty of acute interarticular distal humerus fractures in the elderly (level IV). 2. Review of expert opinion without explicit critical appraisal or controlled research (level V). STUDY IDENTIFICATION: 1. Computerized data search 1969-2003, Cochrane Database, OVID Search Engine. 2. Reviews of bibliographies of selected articles.
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