Aims: The PROximal Fracture of the Humerus Evaluation by Randomisation (PROFHER) randomised clinical trial compared the operative and non-operative treatment of adults with a displaced fracture of the proximal humerus involving the surgical neck. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term treatment effects beyond the two-year follow-up.
Patients and methods: Of the original 250 trial participants, 176 consented to extended follow-up and were sent postal questionnaires at three, four and five years after recruitment to the trial. The Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS; the primary outcome), EuroQol 5D-3L (EQ-5D-3L), and any recent shoulder operations and fracture data were collected. Statistical and economic analyses, consistent with those of the main trial were applied.
Results: OSS data were available for 164, 155 and 149 participants at three, four and five years, respectively. There were no statistically or clinically significant differences between operative and non-operative treatment at each follow-up point. No participant had secondary shoulder surgery for a new complication. Analyses of EQ-5D-3L data showed no significant between-group differences in quality of life over time.
Conclusion: These results confirm that the main findings of the PROFHER trial over two years are unchanged at five years. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B:383-92.
Keywords: Long-term follow-up; Operative versus non-operative treatment; Proximal humeral fractures; Randomised controlled trial.
©2017 Handoll et al.