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Orthopade. 2006 Dec;35(12):1225-36.

[Use of the pelvic clamp in polytraumatised patients with unstable disruption of the posterior pelvic ring. Modified technique--risks--problems].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Unfall-, Wiederherstellungs- und Plastische Chirurgie, Universität Leipzig, Deutschland.



Unstable fractures of the posterior pelvic ring are frequently combined with severe hemorrhage. In 80% of cases the bleeding originates in the ruptured presacral venous plexus or the fracture itself. Arterial bleeding is less common. The pelvic clamp introduced by Ganz can make it possible to stabilise the pelvis, with subsequent compression of the fracture planes and reduction of the intrapelvic volume in such cases, so improving the prognosis. Use of the pelvic clamp can be integrated into the management in the emergency room with no problem.


This paper presents the authors' own modification of the technique for using the pelvic clamp in the emergency situation when only a clinical examination of the patient has been possible and also analyses specific problems that arise in this situation. To this end, the data relating to 29 polytraumatised patients with unstable posterior pelvic ring fractures were analysed in a retrospective study.


In all, 8 complications were seen in 6 patients. There were 2 cases of pin malposition and 2 of over-compression of the ossa coxae and local wound problems. Secondary pin dislocation was observed in 1 case. In all these cases it was possible to correct the pelvic clamp, so that emergency stabilisation was practicable without further surgical intervention. Minor complications were found in 2 patients. These took the form of bleeding at the pin-insertion site. In 1 case an unstable transiliacal fracture was found, and in this case it was not possible to stabilise the posterior pelvic ring with the pelvic clamp. No iatrogenic lesions were detected following application of the pelvic clamp.


In the hands of an experienced and practised user application of the pelvic clamp is a safe method for emergency stabilisation of the posterior pelvic ring in polytraumatised patients, even without blood volume control. Problems can be solved and do not generally mean the pelvic clamp cannot be used. The immediate radiological check (e.g. during the emergency CT -scan performed for primary diagnosis) is a must, however.

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