Pelvic fracture

Last updated: January 27, 2022

Summarytoggle arrow icon

Pelvic fractures most often occur in patients with multiple trauma caused by impact injuries such as car accidents or falls. Patients present with pelvic pain, reduced range of motion, and hematomas. Concomitant injuries such as urethral injury are common. The pelvic stability of every patient with multiple trauma must be checked, as shifted pelvic injuries tend to lead to extensive intraperitoneal and retroperitoneal bleeding, which can lead to hemorrhagic shock or death. The treatment for stable fractures is often conservative, with short-term bed rest and subsequent pain‑adapted mobilization. Unstable pelvic ring fractures with open fractures or significant bleeding require surgery for hemorrhage control, external fixation. This is followed by definitive fixation with plates or screws after the patient becomes hemodynamically stable. Alongside other possible complications, there is a significantly increased risk of thrombosis, and prophylaxis should be administered accordingly.

Epidemiologytoggle arrow icon


Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.

Etiologytoggle arrow icon

  • High speed car and motorcycle accidents
  • Falls, especially in the elderly


Classificationtoggle arrow icon

Tile classification of pelvic fractures

Clinical featurestoggle arrow icon

An isolated unilateral anterior fracture of the pelvic ring may exhibit fairly mild symptoms!


Diagnosticstoggle arrow icon

Treatmenttoggle arrow icon


Complicationstoggle arrow icon

A pelvic injury always requires thrombosis prevention because of the high risk of thrombosis associated with it!


We list the most important complications. The selection is not exhaustive.

Referencestoggle arrow icon

  1. Russell GV Jr. Pelvic Fractures. In: Jaffe WL, Pelvic Fractures. New York, NY: WebMD. Updated: January 25, 2016. Accessed: April 16, 2017.
  2. Gänsslen A, Pohlemann T, Paul C, Lobenhoffer P, Tscherne H. Epidemiology of pelvic ring injuries . Injury. 1996; 27 (Suppl 1): p.S-A13-20.
  3. Asensio JA, Trunkey DD. Current Therapy of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care. Elsevier ; 2015
  4. Fiechtl J. Pelvic Trauma: Initial Evaluation and Management. In: Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. Last updated: January 19, 2017. Accessed: April 16, 2017.
  5. Fiechtl J. Minor Pelvic Fractures in the Older Adult. In: Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. Last updated: August 27, 2015. Accessed: April 16, 2017.
  6. Cothren Burlew C, Moore EE. Severe Pelvic Fracture in the Adult Trauma Patient. In: Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. Last updated: April 19, 2016. Accessed: April 16, 2017.
  7. Kong JP, Bultitude MF, Royce P, Gruen RL, Cato A, Corcoran NM. Lower urinary tract injuries following blunt trauma: a review of contemporary management. Rev Urol. 2011; 13 (3): p.119-130.
  8. Pelvic Ring Fractures. Updated: April 16, 2017. Accessed: April 16, 2017.
  9. Coccolini F, Stahel PF, Montori G. Pelvic trauma: WSES classification and guidelines. World J Emerg Surg. 2017.doi: 10.1186/s13017-017-0117-6 . | Open in Read by QxMD

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