Pelvic ring injuries: Emergency assessment and management

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Pelvic ring injuries are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Understanding the anatomy of the pelvic ring is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment. A systematic approach taking into account the mechanism of injury, physical examination, and radiographic assessment is important to quickly identify unstable pelvic disruptions and associated injuries. Because the pelvis is a ring structure, isolated pubic rami fractures on plain radiographs are unusual and should warrant careful evaluation for posterior pelvic disruption with computed tomography. Hemorrhagic shock can occur in about 10% of pelvic ring injuries. Immediate recognition and treatment of this life-threatening condition is critical in emergency management. In addition to fluid resuscitation and blood transfusion, circumferential wrapping, angiographic embolization, laparotomy with pelvic packing, and external fixation can be important life-saving adjuncts in the setting of hemodynamic instability.




Halawi, M. J. (2015). Pelvic ring injuries: Emergency assessment and management. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma. Elsevier.

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