Treatment of proximal humeral fractures is very challenging in elderly patients with osteoporosis. Difficulty in obtaining a stable osteosynthesis remains the main problem for the surgeon. Knowing more details about the bone quality of the humeral head can be helpful for treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bone quality of the humeral head based on age, sex, and location. Three groups of patients were identified according to age: group A (aged <30 years), group B (aged >40 years but <60 years), and group C (aged >60 years). Computed tomography (CT) was performed on each patient to evaluate the humeral head bone quality. The distribution of bone density was assessed by the CT value expressed in Hounsfield units. The maximum, minimum, and mean CT values were calculated in the cancellous bone of the humeral head for each image. The humeral head was then divided into 3 equal zones, and a map of the 3 zones was made. The results showed that there was a significant difference between men and women in our series with regard to the percentage of bone tissue. There was also a significant difference among the 3 groups (age-related), as well as between the medial and lateral sides, with regard to the percentage of bone tissue. Osteopenic change in the humeral head has a negative correlation with aging. The medial side, especially the articular side, has more bone tissue than other areas. These results suggest that, when we treat humeral head fractures of elderly patients, we need to define bone quality for each case. We should then take care when establishing the site and angle of insertion for fixation to obtain optimal fixation on the lateral side.
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