Do We Need a Separate Classification for Fragility Fractures of the Pelvis?

Pol Maria Rommens, Daniel Wagner, Alexander Hofmann
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 2019, 33 Suppl 2: S55-S60
Fragility fractures of the pelvis are occurring with increasing frequency. These fractures, occurring in the geriatric patient population, are low-energy injuries and are dissimilar in many ways from those caused by high-energy trauma. For example, the mechanism of injury is different and emergency treatment is usually not necessary. Having diminished bone strength, fragility fracture lines follow areas of low bone mineral density and loss of pelvic stability may increase over time. Based on our clinical experience, we propose a comprehensive classification of pelvic fragility fractures separate from the existing pelvic ring injury classification to provide a framework for distinguishing the different fragility fracture types and their recommended treatment. This classification is derived first from the degree of fracture instability, followed by the location of the fracture. Anterior pelvic fractures are differentiated from posterior pelvic ring fractures, nondisplaced fractures from displaced, and unilateral from bilateral. It is our belief that this new in-depth analysis of these lesions will assist the clinician in identifying the specific patterns of fragility fracture instability and selecting the appropriate choice of treatment. Further investigation is required to determine the ultimate value of this proposed pelvic fragility fracture classification system. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Diagnostic Level V.

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