State of Pelvic and Acetabular Surgery in the Developing World: A Global Survey of Orthopaedic Surgeons at Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN) Hospitals.

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To document the current state of pelvic and acetabular surgery in the developing world and to identify critical areas for improvement in the treatment of these complex injuries.


A 50-question online survey.


International, multicenter.


One hundred eighty-one orthopaedic surgeons at Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN) hospitals, which represent a cross-section of institutions in low- and middle-income countries that treat high-energy musculoskeletal trauma.


Administration and analysis of 50-question survey.


Surgeon training and experience; hospital resources; volume and patterns of pelvic/acetabular fracture management; postoperative protocols and resources for rehabilitation; financial responsibilities for patients with pelvic/acetabular fractures.


Complete surveys were returned by 75 institutions, representing 61.8% of the global SIGN nail volume. Although 96% of respondents were trained in orthopaedic surgery, 53.3% have no formal training in pelvic or acetabular surgery. Emergency access to the operating room is available at all responding sites, but computed tomography scanners are available at only 60% of sites, and a mere 21% of sites have access to angiography for pelvic embolization. Cannulated screws (53.3%) and pelvic reconstruction plates (56%) are available at just over half of the sites, and 68% of sites do not have pelvic reduction clamps and retractors. 21.3% of sites do not have access to intraoperative fluoroscopy. Responding hospitals see an average of 38.8 pelvic ring injuries annually, with 24% of sites treating them all nonoperatively. Sites treated an average of 22.5 acetabular fractures annually, with 34.7% of institutions treating them all nonoperatively. Patients travel up to 1000 km or 20 hours for pelvic/acetabular treatment at some sites. Although 78.7% of sites have inpatient physical or occupational therapy services, only 17% report access to home physical therapy, and only 9% report availability of nursing or rehabilitation facilities postdischarge. At over 80% of hospitals, patients and their families are at least partially responsible for payment of surgical, implant, hospital, and outpatient fees. Government aid is available for inpatient fees at over 40% of sites, but outpatient services are subsidized at only 28% of sites.


We report the current state of pelvic and acetabular surgery in low- and middle-income countries. Our results identify significant needs in surgeon training, hospital resources, availability of instruments and implants, and access to appropriate postoperative rehabilitation services for pelvic and acetabular surgery in the developing world. Targeted programs designed to overcome these barriers are required to advance the care of pelvic and acetabular fractures in the developing world.

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