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12.06.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2019

European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery 6/2019

Outcome of pubic rami fractures with or without concomitant involvement of the posterior ring in elderly patients

European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery > Ausgabe 6/2019
Sverre Arvid Ingemar Loggers, Pieter Joosse, Kees Jan Ponsen



Pubic rami fractures are common fractures in a growing osteoporotic geriatric population. Concomitant posterior ring fractures (cPRF) are often found when properly looked for. The pain and consequent immobilization leaves this vulnerable patient group at risk for complications. Conservative therapy is usually sufficient, but with cPRF’s surgery can be indicated. Although previous studies have pointed out that mortality rates are high, longer term morbidity outcomes are lacking. This study aims to further establish the longer term consequences of these fractures. Risk factors will be identified for complications, also addressing the possible differences between patients with or without a cPRF.


Retrospective analysis of patients aged over 65 years sustaining a pubic rami fracture in the North-West Hospital Group Alkmaar combined with a survey to establish risk factors for morbidity and mortality after 6 months’ post trauma. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors.


117 patients matched inclusion criteria with a median age of 83 and of which 86% was female. 23 cPRF’s were identified. Significant deterioration in ambulation and independency was found. 34% was institutionalized at discharge. 49% lost their independent mobility status and 40% of the patients did not experience a full recovery. One-year mortality rate was 23%. Patients with a cPRF had a significant higher complication rate (44 vs 18% p = 0.02), but mortality and other morbidity outcomes did not statistically differ. The strongest predictor for 1-year mortality was complications during admission and a dependent ambulatory status (OR 5.2 and 4.1 respectively).


Pubic fractures with or without involvement of the posterior pelvic ring in patients aged over 65 have a significant impact on mobility and independency. Mortality rates are similar to hip fracture patients. Careful evaluation of every patient’s mobility status is necessary to identify patients at risk for complications and determine their future health care needs. Future studies are needed to achieve consensus on diagnostic and treatment protocols and identify ways to decrease the significant impact of this injury.

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