Results of surgical treatment of distal humerus fractures in adults in Cotonou

S. Pascal Chigblo, Gaspard D. Gbessi, Francois Amossou, Adebola Padonou, I. Fiacre Tidjani, Eric Lawson, Oswald Goukodadja, Aristote A. Hans-Moévi


Background: Fractures of the distal humerus represent 1.3% of fractures in Cotonou. Their treatment is often surgical. The aim of this work was to assess the results of their osteosynthesis in a disadvantaged environment.

Methods: This retrospective study from 2001 to 2015 included 38 operated patients for distal humerus fracture with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. The average age was 33.6 years; the predominance was male (27 cases). The major etiology was traffic accidents (31 cases), According to the AO classification, the fractures were type A (10 cases), type B (02 cases) and type C (26 cases). The average time of surgery was 21 days. The Lecestre plate was the most used (29 cases). An iliac cortico-cancellous graft was used in 03 cases. The mean hospital stay was 20 days.

Results: The mean follow-up was 37 months. Functionally, the mean Mayo elbow performance score (MEPS) score was 66.3 points. The results were excellent (08 cases), good (13 cases), average (10 cases) and bad (7 cases). The patients were satisfied or very satisfied in 29 cases. Radiographically, the reduction was anatomical in 34 cases. Anatomical reductions were obtained with Lecestre plates. Consolidation was achieved in 36 cases within an average of 9 weeks. As complications we noted: radial nerve paresis (03 cases); secondary displacement (02 cases); superficial infection of the operating site (02 cases), wire migration or screw retraction (05 cases), non-union (03 cases), malunion in varus (04 cases) and osteitis of the proximal ulna (01 case).

Conclusions: Fractures of the distal humerus are infrequent. The anatomical and functional results despite little technical support provided and the long delay before surgery are quite good.


Fracture, Distal humerus, Osteosynthesis, Results

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