Epidemiology of proximal humeral fractures: a detailed survey of 711 patients in a metropolitan area


Literature lacks data concerning several epidemiologic aspects of proximal humeral fractures (PHFs).


This retrospective study included 711 consecutive patients (209 men, 502 women) who sustained a PHF in the last 3 years. Participants were divided into 2 groups, adults and children. Data regarding age, sex, date, and fracture side were collected. According to the mechanism of injury, we arbitrarily distinguished 7 subgroups. PHFs were classified according to the head-greater-lesser-shaft (HGLS)-Hertel classification and to the Salter-Harris classification using x-ray and computed tomography imaging.


PHFs represent 5.03% of the overall fractures. The right side was involved in 389 patients (54.7%; P = .6). The mean age of male and female patients was 55.4 (standard deviation,  21.9) years and 67.0 (standard deviation, 16.1) years, respectively (P = .0001). Significant differences in the trauma mechanism between female patients (street/home low-energy trauma) and male patients (high-energy trauma) were found. A significant correlation between trauma mechanisms from 1 to 5 and fracture patterns H-G-L-S, HL-G-S, HGL-S, and HLS-G was observed. The occurrence of the same patterns significantly varied according to different age subgroups. Considering the pediatric population, a significant incidence of Salter-Harris 2 in both genders was found. No correlation was observed between the fracture patterns and the trauma mechanism.


PHFs have a higher prevalence and incidence in females and in older age, respectively; they are more frequent in the winter months. In addition, male fractures are due to different traumatic events than those in females. A correlation between trauma and PHF pattern was evident only for adults. Some fracture patterns are correlated with different ranges of age in all patients.

Geplaatst door: Paul van der Tas op: 25 juli 2017