Treatment of proximal humerus fractures: comparison of shoulder and trauma surgeons

Andrew Jawa, Paul H. Yi, Robert E. Boykin, Michael J. Gardner, Christian Gerber, Dean G. Lorich, Gilles Walch, Jon J.P. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Surgeons' disagreement about ideal treatment for proximal humerus fractures (PHFs) may reflect a difference in training. We conducted a study to compare treatment decision-making by experienced shoulder and trauma fellowship--trained surgeons. Two expert shoulder surgeons and 2 expert trauma surgeons reviewed 100 consecutive PHFs surgically treated at another institution. Using available imaging, the examiners assigned scores for agreement with treatment decisions and for ratings of reduction/arthroplasty placement, fixation method, and radiographic outcomes. The scores were evaluated for interobserver reliability using intraclass correlation coefficients. Overall, these experienced surgeons agreed poorly with treatment decisions and fixation methods but agreed moderately on acceptable reductions/arthroplasty placement and final radiographic outcomes. Agreement on the final radiographic outcomes was more uniform and acceptable for both shoulder and trauma surgeons. Trauma surgeons agreed more with each other about treatment decisions than shoulder surgeons agreed with each other. In this study, surgeon disagreement and an aging population highlight the need for better evidence regarding optimal treatment for PHFs in order to improve consensus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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