Operative Treatment of 2-fragment-fractures (AO 11-A3) of the Proximal Humerus in the Elderly: Cement Augmented Locking Plate Philos vs. Proximal Humerus Nail MultiLoc


LMU Klinikum




Bone Plates
Shoulder Fractures


Device: PhilosTM with augmentation (Depuy-Synthes)
Device: MultiLoc®-Nail (Depuy-Synthes)

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Proximal humeral fractures are with an incidence of 4-5% the third most common fractures in the elderly. Compared to fractures of the upper limb it is the second most common fracture after distal radial fractures. 65% of all patients with a proximal humeral fracture are older than 60 years. Being aware of the demographic change there will even be an increase of incidence of these fractures. Kannus et al. showed an incidence of 298 per 100,000 in the at least 80 years old patients in 2007. Palvanen et al. predict an increase of incidence of 50% until 2030. Approximately 80% of all humeral fractures are minimally or non-displaced and can be treated conservatively with a good functional result. In 20% of humeral fractures there is an indication for surgical treatment according to the modified Neer-Criteria. These criteria are fulfilled if there is an angulation of at least 45 degrees between fracture fragments, a displacement of the humeral shaft against the humeral head of at least 1 cm or a dislocation of the tuberculum of at least 5 mm. Up to now there is evidence for superiority of any surgical treatment in literature. At the moment the most frequently used surgical technique for treatment of proximal humeral fractures is the angle stable plate fixation. There are various publications concerning this topic published by the investigators research group. In their 10-years results a majority of patients showed excellent and good, but also 16% showed unsatisfactory results after locking plate fixation. Main risk for poor outcome was revision surgery caused by secondary displacement (14%) which is also confirmed by results of other studies. In a further study investigators could show that there is a higher risk for secondary displacement in 2-part-fractures with a gross primary dislocation or a large metaphyseal fracture zone (AO 11-A3), especially in osteoporotic patients. More over these are common fractures and because of that a problem in surgical treatment. A secondary varus dislocation of the head fragment and cutting-out are the most common complications of angle stable locking plates in AO 11-A3 fractures of the elderly. The primary reason for this mechanism of failure is certain instability of transmetaphyseal fractures in the region of the surgical neck caused by loss of impaction in a porous spongiosa. Because of that the forces on the head screws are high while the so called screw-bone-interface is rather weak after a surgical treatment. Currently there exist various approaches to avoid a failure of the primary screw implantation. One possibility to increase the stability of the screw-bone-interface is the cement augmentation of the screw tips. To date there exist no clinical study that reports the results of locking plate fixation and the augmentation of cannulated head screws although it is a widely used method in everyday surgery, especially in the elderly. A second possibility to prevent secondary displacement after surgical treatment of 2-fragment-fractures is the use of an intramedullary nails. A further development of intramedullary nails is multiplanar nailing. Screws can be inserted in various different levels and directions which can lead to a clearly higher stability. A comparison of these two treatment options augmented locking plate versus multiplanar angle stable locking nail in 2-part proximal humeral fractures has not been carried out up to now.

Full description

Because of the lack of clinical studies which compare cement augmented locking plates with multiplanar humeral nail systems after 2-part proximal humeral fractures, the decision of surgical method currently depends only on surgeons favour. Because only a randomized clinical trial (RCT) can sufficiently answer the question if one treatment option provides advantages compared to the other method we are planning to perform a RCT. Investigators hypothesis: The cement augmented angle stable plate fixation system PhilosTM with augmentation (Depuy-Synthes) achieves significant differences concerning intra- and postoperative complication and revision rate, functional outcome and patient satisfaction compared to the multiplanar proximal MultiLoc®-Nail (Depuy-Synthes) in terms of Disabilities of the Shoulder, Arm and Hand-Score (DASH) Constant Score (CS), American Shoulder and Elbow Score (ASES), Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS), Range of motion (ROM) and Short Form 36 (SF-36).


40 estimated patients




60+ years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Age: ≤60 years or younger postmenopausal woman
  • 2-fragment-fracture according to AO-classification AO 11-A3
  • Signed informed consent
  • Patient can read and understand German

Exclusion criteria

  • Refusal to participate in the study
  • Not Independent
  • Dementia and/or institutionalized
  • Does not understand written and spoken guidance German
  • Pathologic fracture or a previous fracture of the same proximal humerus
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction, e.g., in the emergency department, breathalyzer indicates blood alcohol concentration of more than 2%
  • Other injury to the same upper limb requiring surgery
  • Major nerve injury (e.g., complete radial- or axillary nerve palsy)
  • Rotator cuff tear arthropathy
  • Open fracture
  • Multi-trauma or -fractured patient
  • Fracture dislocation or head-splitting fracture
  • Non-displaced fracture
  • Isolated fracture of the major or minor tubercle
  • Gross displacement of the fracture fragments (no bony contact between fracture parts or the humeral shaft is in contact with the articular surface)
  • Any medical condition that excludes surgical treatment
  • Pregnancy

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Single Blind

40 participants in 2 patient groups

PhilosTM with augmentation (Depuy-Synthes)
Other group
The intervention group will be treated by the angle stable plate fixation system PhilosTM with augmentation (Depuy-Synthes)
Device: MultiLoc®-Nail (Depuy-Synthes)
MultiLoc®-Nail (Depuy-Synthes)
Other group
The comparison group will be treated by the multiplanar proximal humeral nail MultiLoc® (Depuy-Synthes).
Device: PhilosTM with augmentation (Depuy-Synthes)

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Tobias Helfen, MD; Florian Haasters, MD

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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