Surgical Management of Greater Tuberosity Fractures

Abstract

Although isolated fractures of the greater tuberosity of the humerus are less common than three- or four-part fractures of the proximal humerus, they can still result in significant disability. Fractures of the greater tuberosity often result from an anterior dislocation of the shoulder. Their nonsurgical treatment is generally reserved for minimally displaced fractures, and generally has good results, albeit with a lengthy recovery period. The surgical treatment of fractures of the greater tuberosity is controversial and ranges from arthroscopic fixation to open reduction and internal fixation. These fractures can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including the pattern of injury, schemes for their classification, methods of fixation, and the measures used to define the outcome of their treatment. Long-term outcome data on the surgical treatment of fractures of the greater tuberosity are lacking, but the literature shows that it can yield favorable outcomes. This article focuses on the surgical indications and arthroscopic and open surgical techniques for treating fractures of the greater tuberosity, on technical pearls for their surgical treatment, and on rehabilitation of the patient following their surgical treatment.

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