Online ISSN: 2515-8260

Keywords : orthogonal plates

Comparative study of functional outcome of distal humerus intra-articular fracture treated with parallel plates and with orthogonal plates (A study of 30 cases)

Dr.Daljinder Singh, Dr Akashdeep Singh, Dr Sanjeev Sareen, Dr Annie Sandhu

European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 2021, Volume 8, Issue 4, Pages 39-52

Intra-articular distal humerus fractures remain one of the most difficult injuries to
manage. These fractures comprises 2-6% of all fractures and have bimodal age
distribution. The majority of these fractures occur either as low energy falls or high
energy trauma. Most fractures in elderly patients are intra- articular with bi-columnar
involvement. They are commonly multifragmental and occur in osteopenic bone. High
energy injuries occur in adults, which are accompanied with other associated injuries.
The elbow is anatomically a trocho-ginglymoid joint in which distal humerus bifurcates
into two divergent cortical columns, termed as medial and lateral columns. The articular
segment functions architecturally as a tie arch. The elbow is one of the most constrained
joints of the body and tolerates immobilization poorly and any alteration within the
architecture of the joint has the potential to limit motion and compromise
function.Treatment outcomes are often related to elbow stiffness, weakness and pain.
Meticulous planning is required in obtaining an anatomic intra-articular reduction, and
creating a fixation construct that is rigid enough to tolerate early mobilization. Usually,
70% of patients that sustain an elbow fracture, fall directly on to the elbow because they
are unable to break their fall with an out stretched arm. This randomized, prospective
study was undertaken to compare the functional outcomes of distal humerus intraarticular
fractures in adults treated with parallel plates and orthogonal plates. From a
clinical perspective, a parallel plating method appears to provide better rigid fixation that
is adequate for obtaining bone union. However, no statistical significant differences were
observed between the orthogonal and parallel double plating methods in terms of clinical
outcomes and complication rates. If meticulously applied, with suitable plates, both
parallel and orthogonal positioning can provide adequate stability and anatomic
reconstruction of the distal humerus fractures.