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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1994 Aug;(305):31-7.

Open reduction and internal fixation of fractures of the acetabulum. Results in 163 fractures.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, University of Washington, Seattle.


Management of displaced fractures of the acetabulum represents one of the greatest challenges in fracture surgery. This study reports intermediate term results for a single surgeon of 163 fractures in 161 patients treated by open reduction and internal fixation. The mean length of followup was 3.7 years. The most common fracture patterns treated were both column (67), transverse/posterior wall (32), posterior wall (14), and T shaped (12). The surgical approaches chosen were ilioinguinal (86), Kocher-Langenbeck (58), and extended iliofemoral (26) with 7 patients having sequential or simultaneous dual approaches. Reductions were rated by plain radiography and considered anatomic in 93 (56%) and near anatomic (< 2 mm displacement) in 40 (25%). There were 7 (4%) infections, 2 (1%) vascular injuries, 3 (2%) sciatic injuries, and 1 (1%) obturator nerve injury. Overall outcome was rated as excellent in 23 (14%), good in 101 (61%), fair in 25 (16%), and poor in 14 (9%). Nine patients have undergone hip salvage procedures. These results add to the growing body of clinical data which validates open reduction as the treatment of choice in most displaced fractures of the acetabulum.

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