Ultrasonographic Measurement of Torsional Side Difference in Proximal Humerus Fractures and Humeral Shaft Fractures : Theoretical Background with Technical Notes for Clinical Implementation

Both nonoperative and operative treatment of proximal humerus fractures (PHF) and humeral shaft fractures can result in torsional side differences. Several measurement methods are available to determine torsional malalignment. While conventional X-ray or computed tomography would entail additional radiation exposure for the patient, and while magnetic resonance imaging might be associated with higher costs and is not suitable in cases of surgically treated fractures due to metal-induced artifacts, the sonographic measurement of humeral torsion represents a readily available and quickly performable measurement method without radiation exposure. Both fully sonographic procedures and sonographically assisted procedures have been described in the literature for this purpose. To date, however, its application in the case of trauma patients, for example those with healed PHF and humeral shaft fractures, is not reported. This viewpoint article aims to provide a concise summary of the literature concerning ultrasonographic indirect measurements of humeral torsional side differences, with technical notes for clinical implementation in case of healed proximal humerus fractures and humeral shaft fractures.


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