Outcome and 2-Year Survival Rate in Elderly Patients With Lateral Compression Fractures of the Pelvis

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Osteoporotic pelvic ring fractures are a rising problem for surgeons in industrialized countries. There is no evidence-based treatment strategy especially for lateral compression (LC) fractures involving the sacrum. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare outcome and survival rate of nonoperative and operative treatment strategies for lateral compression fractures.

Patients and Methods:

In a retrospective study, 128 patients (aged ≥65 years) with an Orthopedic Trauma Association (OTA) types B2.1 and B3.3 fracture were included and analyzed regarding demographic and treatment data and adverse events. After a follow-up period of at least 2-year survival rate, quality of life and pain were evaluated using the EuroQol-5D and Short Form–12 questionnaires and the visual analog scale.


Fifty patients (78.3 ± 7.6 years) obtained operative treatment and 77 patients (82.7 ± 7.9 years) obtained nonoperative treatment. One died within 24 hours after admission. High rates of complications occurred in both groups (operative group: 18% and nonoperative group: 8%). Eighteen percent (14 of the 77) of conservatively treated patients needed operative treatment after discharge due to worsening pain and mobilization. The 2-year follow-up showed a high overall mortality (30%), with a significant higher survival rate for operatively treated patients (2-year survival: operatively treated 82% vs conservative 61%). No difference was found in pain and quality of life.


Elderly patients display a high rate and variety of complications and mortality in the aftermath of lateral compression fractures of the pelvis. Although a significantly higher 2-year survival rate for operatively treated patients was found, this study cannot give proof of superior position for operative treatment. Due to lacking data for alternative treatment algorithms especially for fracture-related immobilized patients, we recommended operative treatment with the aim to reduce complications related to prolonged bed rest and ensure early mobilization.

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