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Evaluation of strategies for the treatment of type B and C pelvic fractures

Results from the German Pelvic Injury Register

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The best method of treating unstable pelvic fractures that involve the obturator ring is still a matter for debate. This study compared three methods of treatment: nonoperative, isolated posterior fixation and combined anteroposterior stabilization.

Patients and Methods

The study used data from the German Pelvic Trauma Registry and compared patients undergoing conservative management (n = 2394), surgical treatment (n = 1345) and transpubic surgery, including posterior stabilization (n = 730) with isolated posterior osteosynthesis (n = 405) in non-complex Type B and C fractures that only involved the obturator ring anteriorly. Calculated odds ratios were adjusted for potential confounders. Outcome criteria were intraoperative and general short-term complications, the incidence of nerve injuries, and mortality.


Operative stabilization reduced mortality by 36% (odds ratio (OR) 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.42 to 0.98) but the incidence of complications was twice as high (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.57 to 2.64). Mortality and the incidence of neurological deficits at discharge were no different after isolated posterior or combined anteroposterior fixation. However, the odds of both surgical (98%, OR 1.98, 95%CI 1.22 to 3.22) and general complications (43%, OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.00) were higher in the group with the more extensive surgery.


Operative stabilization is recommended for non-complex unstable pelvic fractures. The need for anterior fixation of obturator ring fractures should, however, be considered critically.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2018;100-B:973–83.

Correspondence should be sent to H. Schmal; email:

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