Treatment of Distal Humeral Fractures in Elderly Patients

Where Are We in 2020? A Review Article

Anthony V. Christiano, MD; James D. Dieterich, MD; Gregory M. Frechette, MD; Andrew J. Lovy, MD; Jaehon M. Kim, MD; Michael R. Hausman, MD


Curr Orthop Pract. 2020;31(6):579-581. 

In This Article


The available literature appears to be equivocal on the ideal treatment of geriatric distal humeral fractures with well-done TEA and ORIF demonstrating similar complication and reoperation rates with similar range of motion and functional outcomes. Failed fixation of geriatric distal humeral fractures can be reliably converted to TEA without worsened outcomes. Decreased survivorship may occur when TEA is employed for acute fractures. Surgeons and patients must weigh the risks and benefits of treatment with TEA associated with functional restrictions for life and possible decreased hardware survivorship when compared to ORIF requiring a second surgery with conversion to TEA if it fails.