Pelvic fractures: Value of plain radiography in early assessment and management

J. W.R. Young, A. R. Burgess, R. J. Brumback, A. Poka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

322 Scopus citations


Assessment of pelvic fractures in severely traumatized, clinically unstable patients presents a diagnostic problem. Traditional plain-radiographic classifications of the fracture are of limited preoperative value to the surgeon who must apply corrective force in opposition to the original force vector causing the fracture. Computed tomographic scanning is an effective method of examining the pelvis but is time consuming and may be impractical in cases of severe injury. In a retrospective analysis of the plain radiographs of 142 cases of pelvic fracture, four patterns of force were identified, presenting distinctive, recognizable radiographic appearances. These patterns are anteroposterior compression, lateral compression, vertical shear, and a complex pattern. The resulting classification of pelvic fracture, based on radiographic and clinical findings, correlates with associated injury to soft-tissue structures and enables the surgeon to begin corrective procedures rapidly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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