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Orthopedics. 2013 Jun;36(6):760-4. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20130523-21.

One-year mortality after isolated pelvic fractures with posterior ring involvement in elderly patients.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Institute, Medical Center East, South Tower, Ste 4200, 1215 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37232-8774, USA.


Previous 1-year mortality studies of pelvic fractures in elderly patients have focused on pubic rami fractures, in elderly patients with multiple injuries, or both. Baseline information on the 1-year mortality of isolated pelvic fractures in elderly patients is unavailable. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the 1-year mortality of elderly patients (aged 60 years or older) after isolated pelvic fractures with posterior ring involvement (Orthopaedic Trauma Association type 61-B and C). All patients aged 60 years or older treated for pelvic injuries at a single Level I trauma center over a 12-year period were retrospectively reviewed (N=1223). Exclusion criteria were associated injuries to other body systems (Abbreviated Injury Scale greater than 2), ballistic injuries, long bone fractures, concurrent acetabular fractures, and type 61-A fractures or isolated pubic rami fractures without posterior involvement. Mortality data were obtained from the Social Security Death Index. Seventy patients met the inclusion criteria. Patients treated nonoperatively were significantly older compared with those treated operatively. However, the Charlson Comorbidity Index did not significantly differ between treatment groups. A significantly higher percentage of type-B fractures (83.0%) were treated nonoperatively compared with type-C fractures, which were treated operatively 88.2% of the time. Mortality rates at 3 and 6 months and 1 year postoperatively were 7.1%, 11.4%, and 12.9%, respectively. These results suggest that the 1-year mortality rates of isolated pelvic fractures in elderly patients are lower than those reported previously for hip fractures and pelvic fractures with concurrent injuries. Although age was identified as a significant variable differing between patients treated operatively vs nonoperatively, comorbidities were not.

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