Comparison of the ALPS and PHILOS plating systems in proximal humeral fracture fixation – a retrospective study

Antoine Dewarrat, Alexandre Terrier, Bardia Barimani, Frédéric Vauclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Open reduction and plate osteosynthesis are considered as a successful technique for the treatment of proximal humerus fracture (PHF) despite high complication rates. The objective of our study was to review the clinical outcome and complications of the Anatomic Locking Plate System (ALPS) and compare it to the Proximal Humeral Internal Locking System (PHILOS). Our hypothesis was that ranges of motion (ROM) were superior and complication rates were lower with ALPS. Methods: Twenty patients treated with ALPS for PHF were retrospectively compared to 27 patients treated with PHILOS. Union, ROM and complications were clinically and radiologically assessed at 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12 and 18–24 months post-operatively. Results: Mean age was 52 ± 14 in the ALPS group and 58 ± 13 in the PHILOS group. Last follow-ups were conducted at a mean of 20.6 ± 4.8 months. Mean shoulder abduction was superior with ALPS by 14° (p-value = 0.036), 15° (p-value = 0.049), and 15° (p-value = 0.049) at 3, 6, and 12 months respectively. Mean shoulder external rotation was superior with ALPS by 11° (p-value = 0.032), 15° (p-value = 0.010) and 12° (p-value = 0.016) at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months respectively. At the end of the follow-up, ROM remained better with ALPS, but not significantly. Complication rates over 21 months reached 20% with ALPS and 48% with PHILOS (p-value = 0.045). Implant removal rates reached 10% with ALPS and 37% with PHILOS (p-value = 0.036). Avascular necrosis was the only cause for hardware removal in the ALPS group. Conclusion: The ALPS group showed better clinical outcomes with faster recovery in abduction and external rotation, although no difference in ROM remained after 21 months. Additionally, the complications rate was lower at last follow up. In our experience, the ALPS plating system is an effective management option in some PHF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number371
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • ALPS
  • Fracture fixation
  • Locking plate
  • Plate
  • Proximal humerus fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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