Biomechanical comparisons of hook plate and screw fixations in split-type greater tuberosity fractures of the humerus

Fa Chuan Kuan, Kai Lan Hsu, Chih Kai Hong, Yueh Chen, Chen Hao Chiang, Hao Ming Chang, Wei Ren Su

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Screws and plate are commonly utilized for the fixation of split-type humeral greater tuberosity (GT) fractures. However, the mechanical properties of these 2 types of fixation methods have not been compared directly. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the classic 2 screws fixation with hook locking plate from a mechanical perspective. Methods: Sixteen synthetic humerii (Sawbones Pacific Research Laboratories, Vashon, WA, USA) were divided into 2 groups. An osteotomy was performed to simulate a split-type GT fracture. Group A (n = 8) was fixed with 2 standard parallel screws. Group B (n = 8) was fixed with a hook plate. Each specimen was tested with traction force at 45° shoulder abduction. Following the 20-N preload, a 500-cycle loading test was applied with a force ranging from 20 to 200 N (valley/peak), and the interfragmental displacement was measured periodically at intervals of 100 cycles. Finally, all the specimens were pulled with destructive force at a rate of 5 mm/min until catastrophic failure. Results: The hook plate exhibited greater construct stiffness than the screw fixation (63.2 ± 6.1 N/mm vs. 40.9 ± 3.4 N/mm, P < .001). All of the specimens completed the entire cyclic loading test without catastrophic failure, and the fragment displacement after 500 cycles was 0.4 ± 0.2 mm for the hook plate and 2.1 ± 0.3 mm for screw fixation, which was statistically lower in the plate group (P < .001). In terms of failure load, the hook plate group exhibited a significantly greater value than the screw group (770.6 ± 94.6 vs. 427.5 ± 45.1 N/mm, P < .001). The failure modes of both fixation methods were distinct. Conclusion: In humeral GT fracture fixation, hook plate fixation appears to offer greater construct stiffness and failure load while maintaining fragment stability to resist a physiological traction force. The current study provides support from a mechanical perspective for the clinical application of the hook plate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-1315
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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