Treatment patterns of ABOS part II candidates: A decline of operative management among geriatric proximal humerus fractures over the decade (2010–2020)

Kyle J. Klahs*, Kelly V. Fitzpatrick, James A. Blair, Nata Parnes, Leon J. Nesti, John C. Dunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess trends in ABOS part II candidate's operative management of geriatric (≥65 years) proximal humerus fractures over the 2010–2020 decade. Methods: This retrospective database cohort study utilized the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) database for candidates taking Part II of their boards. Surgical coding was reviewed and the ICD10 data was correlated to the CPT code for shoulder arthroplasty or open reduction internal fixation. We investigated the number of proximal humerus fracture operative cases per year, the percent arthroplasty used per year, the stratification of percent arthroplasty per orthopaedic fellowship subspecialty and geographic region. Results: A total of 2,409 operative cases for proximal humerus fractures in patients 65 years of age and older were submitted by 1,420 ABOS candidates. There was a 37% reduction in operatively managed proximal humerus fractures among ABOS part II candidates between the first half of the decade (2010–2015, 263.2 +/- 13.4) and the second half of the decade (2016–2020, 166 +/- 31.2; p<.05). There also was a downward trend with a 53% reduction in percent treated with arthroplasty as compared to ORIF during those same windows (2010–2015, 34.4 +/-11.7) and (2016–2020, 16.2 +/- 6.4; p<.5). Partitioned by single fellowship training, Shoulder and Elbow (S&E) surgeons performed the highest percent arthroplasty at 25.2%, followed by Sports at 23.1% and the lowest percent arthroplasty was Trauma at 11.7%. The Southeast United States had the lowest percentage arthroplasty at 15.8% as compared to the Midwest (23.8%) and Northeast (25.8%). Conclusion: Despite the rapid growth of both the elderly population and related geriatric proximal humerus fractures, ABOS candidates are treating less with surgery. There has been approximately a 37% decrease in the total number of operatively treated proximal humerus fractures between the first and second half 2010–2020 decade. When operative treatment is performed, there is a trend towards ORIF over an arthroplasty. Trauma fellowship trained surgeons are less likely to perform an arthroplasty as compared to other subspecialties. The Southeast region is least likely to perform an arthroplasty as compared to the Midwest or Northeast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3742-3747
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ABOS part II
  • Open reduction internal fixation
  • Proximal humerus fracture
  • Shoulder and elbow
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • Trauma


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment patterns of ABOS part II candidates: A decline of operative management among geriatric proximal humerus fractures over the decade (2010–2020)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this