Functional Outcomes of Elderly Patients With Nonoperatively Treated Acetabular Fractures That Meet Operative Criteria

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To report functional outcomes of displaced acetabular fractures treated nonoperatively in the geriatric patient population.


Retrospective case series.


Two Level I trauma centers.


Twenty-seven patients 60 years of age or older who sustained displaced acetabular fractures during an 11-year period.


Nonoperative treatment.

Main Outcome Measurements:

Primary outcome measurements were Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores and Short Form 8 (SF-8) scores. Secondary outcome measurements were conversion to open reduction and internal fixation or total hip arthroplasty and 1-year mortality.


Twenty-six patients completed the WOMAC and SF-8 surveys. The overall WOMAC score was 12.9 ± 15.6 (range, 0–59.4). The average physical SF-8 was 51.1 ± 8.7 (range, 30.4–58.6), and the average mental SF-8 was 55 ± 6.2 (range, 30.4–58.6). The 1-year mortality rate was 24%. Conversion of treatment occurred in 15% of patients.


Elderly patients with fracture patterns that would qualify for operative treatment in younger healthy patients had surprisingly good outcome scores when treated nonoperatively.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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