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Open Access Research article

Minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis with a locking compression plate is superior to open reduction and internal fixation in the management of the proximal humerus fractures

Tao Lin, Baojun Xiao, Xiucai Ma, Dehao Fu* and Shuhua Yang

  • * Corresponding author: Dehao Fu

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

Department of Orthopedics, Union Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, Hubei Province, China

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:206  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-206

Published: 16 June 2014



The use of minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO) via anterolateral deltoid splitting has good outcomes in the management of proximal humerus fractures. While using this approach has several advantages, including minimal soft tissue disruption, preservation of natural biology and minimal blood loss, there is an increased risk for axillary nerve damage. This study compared the advantages and clinical and radiological outcomes of MIPO or open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) in patients with proximal humerus fractures.


A matched-pair analysis was performed, and patient groups were matched according to age (±3 years), sex and fracture type. Forty-three pairs of patients (average age: MIPO, 63 and ORIF, 61) with a minimum follow-up of 12 months were enrolled in the study group. The patients were investigated radiographically and clinically using the Constant score.


The MIPO technique required less surgery time and caused less blood loss compared to ORIF (p < 0.01). In addition, MIPO required a smaller incision, resulted in less scarring, and was cosmetically more appealing and acceptable to female patients than ORIF. Following MIPO, patients had better functional results at 3 and 6 months, with better outcomes, less pain, higher satisfaction in activities of daily living, and a higher range of motion when compared to ORIF (p < 0.05). Fracture configuration, according to the AO/ASIF(Association for the Study of Internal Fixation) fracture classification, did not significantly influence the functional results. The complication rate was comparable between both groups.


The use of MIPO with a locking compression plate in the management of proximal humerus fractures is a safe and superior option compared to ORIF.

Proximal humeral fractures; Minimally invasive; MIPO; Locking compression plate