Indications and limitations of the fixator TGF "Gex-Fix" in proximal end humeral fractures

Michele D'Arienzo, Massimo Ferruzza, Ferruzza, Galvano, D'Arienzo, Parlato, Michele D'Arienzo, Antonio D'Arienzo

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of fractures of the humerus has increased exponentially in recent years. The most used classifications for humerus fracture are morphological (Neer), biological (AO/ASIF) and descriptive (Hertel). The types of surgical treatment for humerus fracture include prosthetic replacement and synthesis using different devices, including the Tension Guide Fixator (TGF), Gex-Fix. External fixation for displaced proximal humeral fractures avoids dissection and soft tissue stripping and has been reported by some authors to be associated with higher union rates, a lower incidence of avascular necrosis, less scarring of the scapulohumeral interface, and faster rehabilitation compared with open reduction and internal fixation. Other authors have reported that external fixation does not ensure acceptable reduction and fracture stability, particularly in patients with osteoporosis. The external fixation technique involves the introduction of Steinmann's pin to keep manual reduction, the introduction of two K-wires in the humeral head, the removal of the Steinmann's pin, and the introduction of two fiches on the humeral shaft. Hub connectors are mounted on the wires and on the chips to connect the outer bar and tensioning system. A total of 84 patients aged 42-84 years with proximal end humeral fractures (66% had two-part fractures) were treated with Fixator TGF in this study from December 2007 to June 2012. The postoperative recovery was earlier and the active-assisted motion was less painful than has been reported with other surgical techniques. The TGF was removed without anaesthesia at the outpatient clinic at a mean of 7 weeks (range 5-8 weeks) after surgery, and there was no loss of reduction or secondary displacement after removal. These results, after five years of experience, confirm that the best indication for this fixator is two- or three-part fractures because the device enables early active mobilisation. The limitations of this fixator are evident in fractures in which closed reduction is not possible and in three-part fractures with varus displacement because the TGF has less stability than other systems, such as the plate or cage. The short learning curve, reduced surgical time and risk, and low cost encourage the use of this technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S49-S52
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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