Pelvic fractures: epidemiology, consequences, and medical management

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Until recently, osteoporotic pelvic fractures have not been specifically studied. This review presents an update on epidemiological data of pelvic fracture, including morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs, the role of surgery and new data on sacroplasty in acute phase management.

Recent findings

All studies underline the burden of osteoporotic pelvic fractures. Risk factors associated with these fractures are age, sex (women), and previous loss of autonomy. An increased mortality has been reported in all publications, similar to hip fracture for in-patient mortality and at 5 years of follow-up. Pelvic fractures often lead to transient or permanent autonomy loss, reflecting the high costs because of extended hospital stay, combined with nursing home requirement. However, recent studies report a decrease in the length of stay. Sacroplasty displays promising results to control pain and improve functional outcome. Early surgery begins to be discussed to also improve the outcome.

Summary

Pelvic fractures display all the features of severe osteoporotic fractures: increased incidence, high morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs that justify awareness of the practitioner on these fractures. Further studies on sacroplasty and surgery are necessary to improve pain control, functional improvement, thereby reducing the length of hospital stay and cost.

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