Background: Poor functional outcome can result from humeral greater tuberosity (GT) fracture if not treated appropriately. A two-screw construct is commonly used for the surgical treatment of such injury. However, loss of reduction is still a major concern after surgery. To improve the biomechanical strength of screw fixation in GT fractures, we made a simple modification of the two-screw construct by adding a cerclage wire to the two-screw construct. The purpose of this biomechanical study was to analyze the effect of this modification for the fixation of GT fractures. Materials and methods: Sixteen fresh-frozen human cadaveric shoulders were used in this study. The fracture models were arbitrarily assigned to one of two fixation methods. Group A (n = 8) was fixed with two threaded cancellous screws with washers. In group B (n = 8), all screws were set using methods identical to group A, with the addition of a cerclage wire. Horizontal traction was applied via a stainless steel cable fixed directly to the myotendinous junction of the supraspinatus muscle. Displacement of the fracture fixation under a pulling force of 100 N/200 N and loading force to construct failure were measured. Results: The mean displacements under 100 N and 200 N traction force were both significantly decreased in group B than in group A. (100 N: 1.06 ± 0.12 mm vs. 2.26 ± 0.24 mm, p < 0.001; 200 N: 2.21 ± 0.25 mm vs. 4.94 ± 0.30 mm, p < 0.001) Moreover, the failure load was significantly higher in group B compared with group A. (415 ± 52 N vs.335 ± 47 N, p = 0.01), Conclusions: The current biomechanical cadaveric study demonstrated that the two-screw fixation construct augmented with a cerclage wire has higher mechanical performance than the conventional two-screw configuration for the fixation of humeral GT fractures. Trial registration: Retrospectively registered.
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