Background: Occult and missed surgical neck fractures can be found in patients diagnosed with isolated greater tuberosity (GT) fracture during the follow up period. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively assess the incidence rate of occult and missed surgical neck fractures in those initially diagnosed with isolated GT fracture. Methods: Records of patients diagnosed as having an isolated GT fracture were retrieved from a database in a medical center. Two senior orthopedic surgeons blindly reviewed all images of these patients three times to classify GT fracture types (split, avulsion and depression types), and recorded any surgical neck fractures found. Then a meeting was help to confirm the fracture types and presence of surgical neck fracture. Results: Occult surgical neck fractures were found in 5 out of 68 (7.4%) patients, whereas missed surgical neck fractures were found in 3 out of 68 (4.4%) patients. In total, 32 patients had split type GT fracture, 32 had avulsion type and 4 had depression type. For those with occult surgical neck fractures, 7 had the split type GT fracture, while the remaining one had the avulsion type. Although the proportion of occult surgical neck fracture was higher in the split-type GT fracture (21.9%) than in the avulsion-type GT fracture (3.1%), the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.056). Conclusion: Occult humeral surgical neck fractures occurred in 7.4% of isolated greater tuberosity fractures after re-evaluation, while missed humeral surgical neck fractures occurred in 4.4%.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine