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Outcomes of acetabular fracture fixation with ten years’ follow-up

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We report the outcome of 161 of 257 surgically fixed acetabular fractures. The operations were undertaken between 1989 and 1998 and the patients were followed for a minimum of ten years. Anthropometric data, fracture pattern, time to surgery, associated injuries, surgical approach, complications and outcome were recorded. Modified Merle D’Aubigné score and Matta radiological scoring systems were used as outcome measures. We observed simple fractures in 108 patients (42%) and associated fractures in 149 (58%).

The result was excellent in 75 patients (47%), good in 41 (25%), fair in 12 (7%) and poor in 33 (20%). Poor prognostic factors included increasing age, delay to surgery, quality of reduction and some fracture patterns. Complications were common in the medium- to long-term and functional outcome was variable. The gold-standard treatment for displaced acetabular fractures remains open reduction and internal fixation performed in dedicated units by specialist surgeons as soon as possible.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr N. Briffa; e-mail: nukol@hotmail.com

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