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INTRODUCTION: Humeral shaft and distal humerus fractures have several different treatment options, including plate fixation and intramedullary nailing. Each has its own benefits, but typically, they are not used in conjunction. While nail-plate combinations (NPCs) have become more common in the lower extremity, literature on their use in upper extremity fractures remains scarce.

CASE REPORT: A 74-year-old right-hand dominant male presented after a fall with a closed left transverse midshaft humerus fracture and an associated supracondylar distal humerus fracture with intercondylar extension through a medial column. Due to the segmental nature of his injury, medial column plating was used in conjunction with a retrograde intramedullary nail to obtain anatomic reduction and fixation of the articular injury while stabilizing the midshaft humerus fracture with minimal soft tissue disruption. The patient was recommended non-weight bearing through his left arm for 6 weeks, at which point he returned to weight bearing as tolerated. He was allowed to range his left elbow after 2 weeks. His left elbow range of motion at the 4-month follow-up was 20-135 degrees, and he reported minimal pain.

CONCLUSION: The retrograde NPC should be considered in segmental humeral fractures involving the distal articular surface and midshaft humerus fractures as it limits violation of the soft tissue while avoiding iatrogenic disruption of the articular surface at the shoulder or elbow.


This article was published in Journal of Orthopaedic Case Reports, Volume 14, Issue 3.

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Copyright © 2023 Indian Orthopaedic Research Group. CC BY-NC 4.0.

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Journal of Orthopedic Case Reports

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