Pediatric Pelvic Fractures: A Marker for Injury Severity

Spiguel, Lisa; Glynn, Loretto; Liu, Donald; Statter, Mindy
June 2006
American Surgeon;Jun2006, Vol. 72 Issue 6, p481
Academic Journal
Pelvic fractures comprise a small number of annual Level I pediatric trauma center admissions. This is a review of the University of Chicago Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center experience with pediatric pelvic fractures. This is a retrospective review of the University of Chicago Level I Pediatric Trauma Center experience with pediatric pelvic fractures during the 12-year period from 1992 to 2004. From 1992 to 2004, there were 2850 pediatric trauma admissions. Thirteen patients were identified with pelvic fractures; seven were boys and six were girls. The average age was 8 years old. The mechanism of injury in all cases was motor vehicle related; 11 patients (87%) sustained pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes. According to the Torode and Zeig classification system, type III fractures occurred in eight patients (62%) and type IV fractures occurred in six patients (31%). Associated injuries occurred in eight patients (62%). Seven of these patients (88%) had associated injuries involving two or more organ systems. Of the associated injuries, additional orthopedic injuries were the most common, occurring in 62 per cent of our patients. Neurological injuries occurred in 54 per cent of patients, vascular injuries in 39 per cent, pulmonary injuries in 31 per cent, and genitourinary injuries in 15 per cent. Five patients (38%) were treated operatively; only two patients underwent operative management directly related to their pelvic fracture. The remaining three patients underwent operative management of associated injuries. The mortality rate was 0 per cent. Although pelvic fractures are an uncommon injury in pediatric trauma patients, the morbidity associated with these injuries can be profound. The majority of pelvic fractures in children are treated nonoperatively, however, more than one-half of these patients have concomitant injuries requiring operative management. When evaluating and treating pediatric pelvic fractures, a systematic multidisciplinary approach must be taken to evaluate and prioritize the pelvic fracture and the associated injuries.


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