Are Arthroplasty Procedures Really Better in the Treatment of Complex Proximal Humerus Fractures? A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review.

Journal Article (Systematic Review;Journal Article)


A meta-analysis and systematic review was performed to compare outcomes of open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), hemiarthroplasty (HA), and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA) for complex proximal humerus fractures. Data sources: MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were screened. Search terms included reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, open reduction internal fixation, hemiarthroplasty, and proximal humerus fracture.

Study selection

English-language studies published within the past 15 years evaluating outcomes of ORIF, rTSA, or HA for complex proximal humerus fractures with minimum of 1-year follow-up were included, resulting in 51 studies with 3064 total patients. Review articles, basic science studies, biomechanical studies, and cadaveric studies were excluded.

Data extraction

The methodological quality of evidence was assessed using the Jadad scale and methodological index for nonrandomized studies.

Data synthesis

Demographic data were compared using the χ2 test. Mean data were weighted by study size and used to calculate composite mean values and confidence intervals. Continuous data were compared using the Metan module with fixed effects. Count data were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Alpha was set at 0.05 for all tests.


Patients undergoing rTSA had lower risks of complication (relative risk 0.41) and reoperation (relative risk 0.28) than HA patients. rTSA resulted in higher Constant scores (standard mean difference 0.63) and improved active forward flexion when compared with HA (standard mean difference 0.76). Pooled mean data demonstrated better outcome scores and active forward flexion of ORIF versus HA and rTSA, although the patients were younger and had more simple fracture patterns.

Level of evidence

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pizzo, RA; Gianakos, AL; Haring, RS; Gage, MJ; Stevens, NM; Liporace, FA; Yoon, RS

Published Date

  • March 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 111 - 119

PubMed ID

  • 33079841

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-2291

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0890-5339

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/bot.0000000000001926


  • eng