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Excellent clinical results can be obtained with non-operative treatment of humeral shaft fractures. In certain patients, operative stabilization is the treatment of choice. This study was initiated to determine the results of non-operative treatment in relation to multiple fractures and being overweight. From 1985 to 1992 we treated 35 humeral shaft fractures in 34 patients by non-operative methods. The median age was 51 (18–84) years. There were 12 women and 22 men. Nine were in overweight patients and 11 were in patients with multiple fractures. Fractures in overweight patients were followed for 158 (60–597) days and the Neer score was 61 (50–72) points. Patients with multiple fractures were followed for 178 (52–970) days and the Neer score was 72 (38–96) points. Single fractures in non-overweight patients were followed for 70 (35–412) days and the Neer score was 94 (65–100) points. These results show that humeral shaft fractures in certain patients may best be treated by operative stabilization.
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Accepted: November 22, 1994
© 1995 Published by Elsevier Inc.