Author(s): Redmond BJ, Biermann JS, Blasier RB
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Abstract We performed a retrospective study of thirteen patients who had had sixteen pathological fractures of the shaft of the humerus secondary to metastatic disease. All but one fracture was stabilized with interlocking intramedullary nailing with use of a closed technique. The mean operative time for the sixteen procedures was ninety-two minutes (range, fifty to 180 minutes), the mean blood loss was 116 milliliters (range, fifty to 200 milliliters), and the mean duration of hospitalization was five days (range, two to ten days). Fourteen extremities had a return to nearly normal function within three weeks after nailing. Relief of pain was rated as good or excellent in all but one patient. Eleven patients (fourteen humeri) received radiation therapy at a mean of seven days (range, three to fourteen days) after the operation. Nine patients died at a mean of four months (range, one to twelve months) postoperatively; the remaining four patients were still alive at a mean of ten months (range, nine to fifteen months). There were no problems related to the wound, deep infections, nerve palsies, or failures of the implant. The fracture was united in all seven of the eleven extremities in patients who survived for at least three months and had radiographs available. Interlocking intramedullary nailing of the humerus for pathological fractures provides immediate stability and can be accomplished with a closed technique, brief operative time, and minimum morbidity, with a resultant early return of function to the extremity.
This article was published in J Bone Joint Surg Am
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine