International Orthopaedics

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1155–1164 | Cite as

Hemiarthroplasty for proximal humerus fractures with conservation of the whole humeral head as autograft: does it improve greater tuberosity healing?

  • Levon DoursounianEmail author
  • Julien Gaillard
  • Adeline Cambon-Binder
  • David Zbili
  • Alain Sautet
Original Paper



Hemiarthroplasty (HA) for proximal humerus fracture (PHF) is associated with tuberosity complications like migration, non-union, and resorption. In order to improve the rate of consolidation of the greater tuberosity (GT), we have developed a hollow humeral head prosthesis in which the whole humeral head is inserted and used as autograft. This study is designed to evaluate the consolidation rate of the GT with this device.


Twenty-two patients at mean age of 68 were treated between 2015 and 2017 for four-part fractures, fracture-dislocations, and head-split fractures with HA including the bony humeral head. The humeral prosthesis device comprises a prosthetic cephalic cup in which the detached humeral head is inserted and a cementless adjustable humeral stem which works like a jack. Mean follow-up was 14 months. The consolidation of GT was followed on X-rays. As comparison, 15 published series were selected and analyzed.


There were two mechanical complications related to GT consolidation (9.1%). In the 20 other cases, the GT was radiologically consolidated without displacement. While the raw proportion of complications observed in the present series was lower than that reported in each of the 15 comparative series, the proportion of complications observed in the present series was significantly different from that observed only in seven out of the 15 previous series.


Whole conservation of the humeral head as an autograft along with proper surgical technique yielded in 20 consolidations of GT without displacement in 22 cases of PHF treated with hemiarthroplasty.


Humeral autograft Proximal humerus fracture Shoulder hemiarthroplasty Tuberosity 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, Saint Antoine HospitalAssistance Publique–Hôpitaux de ParisParisFrance

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