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Do Cerclage Cables Delay the Time to Bone Union in Patients with an Unstable Humeral Shaft Fracture Treated with Intramedullary Nails?

Han, KJ  | Lee, DH  | Bang, JY
Yonsei medical journal, 58(4). : 837-841, 2017
Journal Title
Yonsei medical journal
PURPOSE: To evaluate the time to bone union after open reduction and internal fixation with cerclage cables followed by intramedullary nailing (IMN) for unstable humeral shaft fractures.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with a humeral shaft fracture treated by IMN were enrolled. One group of patients was treated via open reduction and internal fixation with cables followed by IMN (cable group: n=32), while the other group was treated with a conventional closed IMN (non-cable group: n=64). The length of time to bone union and functional scores [Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) scores] were measured for all patients.
RESULTS: No significant differences were found in terms of age, gender, injury type, or smoking history between the two groups, except for the type of fracture. The cable group had significantly more complex types of fracture than the non-cable group (p<0.001). The mean time to bone union was 3.9 months in the cable group, while in the non-cable group, it was 4.4 months (p=0.041). The incidence of postoperative complications, such as non-union, delayed union, and radial nerve palsy, was similar between the two groups (p>0.05). No differences were identified in terms of DASH and UCLA scores (28.8 and 32.1 in the cable group and 26.4 and 32.6 in the non-cable group, respectively: p=0.335 and 0.264).
CONCLUSION: In unstable humeral shaft fractures treated by IMN, open reduction and internal fixation with additional cerclage cables do not delay the length of time to bone union or increase the rate of other complications.

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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Orthopedic Surgery
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