Acetabular Fractures in Children and Adolescents: Comparison of Isolated Acetabular Fractures and Acetabular Fractures Associated With Pelvic Ring Injuries

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Abstract

Objectives:

To compare mechanism of injury, fracture pattern, displacement, clinical, and radiographic outcome of isolated acetabular fractures (group 1) versus acetabular fractures associated with a pelvic ring injury (group 2).

Design:

Retrospective cohort comparative analysis.

Setting:

Private orthopaedic practice associated with a level one teaching trauma center.

Main Outcome Measurements:

Mechanism of injury, fracture pattern, displacement and treatment, Glasgow Coma Scale, Injury Severity Score, leg length discrepancy (LLD), and hip dysplasia.

Patients:

Thirty-two children (group 1: 12 fractures; group 2: 25) were classified as 9 A1, 21 A3, 3 B1, 3 B2, and 1 B3 OTA/AO types. Eighteen children (22 fractures) were included with average follow-up of 33.3 months (6–84). The average age was 12.8 years (4–16).

Results:

Main fracture pattern (75%) in group 1 was a posterior wall fracture (A1) caused by falls and sports in 50%. Six socket injuries had a hip dislocation, present only in group 1 (P < 0.001). The majority (84%) in group 2 had anterior wall/column (A3) fractures, caused by traffic accidents (88%). Fracture displacement in group 1 was higher than in group 2 (3.8 vs. 0.8 mm; P = 0.009). Group 2 had a lower Glasgow Coma Scale (P = 0.031) and a higher Injury Severity Score (P < 0.001). Nine (24%) fractures were treated operatively, significantly more were in group 1 (P < 0.001). Three (14%) children had complications including (LLD) (2) or hip dysplasia (2).

Conclusion:

Compared with isolated pediatric acetabular fractures, fractures associated with pelvic ring injuries have less displacement and are less likely to require operative treatment, but they show more associated injuries. Because of potential hip joint growth disturbance, LLD and hip dysplasia can occur.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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