Distal Humerus Fractures in Adults: Comorbidity Patterns and Demographic Trends in Treatment


The purpose of the study was to (1) assess the prevalence of comorbidities and (2) compare demographics of surgically and non-surgically treated distal humerus fracture patients. Retrospective review of data from a national database was performed. The primary outcome was comorbidities; the secondary outcome was demographic trends between treatment groups. Distal humerus fractures are associated with cerebrovascular disease, dementia, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, liver disease, and lung disease. Those undergoing surgery are more likely to be obese, under the age of 40 years, female, Medicare recipients with fewer comorbidities, who reside in a rural setting, and who seek care at urban/teaching hospitals within the Southern United States. They are also more likely to have a shorter hospital stay, to be discharged to home, and to have improved survival. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 32(1):017–022, 2023)

Key words: distal humerus fracture, supracondylar, elbow, adult, comorbidities, demographics

Andrew J. Mitchelson, MD; James S. Lieber, MD; Jianjun Ma, MD; Steven L. Scaife, MS; and Youssef El Bitar, MD