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J Orthop Trauma. 2014 Feb;28(2):e39-43. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0b013e318298ef0a.

Direct reduction technique for superomedial dome impaction in geriatric acetabular fractures.

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Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


The treatment of acetabular fractures in the elderly patients remains challenging. The "Gull Sign," which was recently described, was 100% predictive of failure of reduction and/or fixation. However, we believe that adequate reduction can be achieved and lead to good functional outcomes. Our technique differs from classic methods because it uses an anterior intrapelvic approach (the modified Stoppa) to obtain direct reduction of the impacted fragments. Access to the impacted superomedial dome is achieved by mobilizing the quadrilateral fragment, thus allowing direct visualization of the impacted articular surface. After reduction, definitive fixation is obtained with 3.5-mm cortical screws positioned in the subchondral bone directly over the Gull fragment. Our technique was performed in 9 patients, with a mean follow-up of 2.8 years. The quality of reduction was within 3 mm in 7 patients (78%). The overall conversion rate to total hip arthroplasty was 33%. All patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty either had initial malreduction or suffered an early loss of reduction. Other complications included 1 case of heterotopic ossification (Brooker type II) and 1 case of deep vein thrombosis. There were no infections. The average Harris Hip Score was 81. Good reduction of superior medial dome impaction can be obtained and maintained in the well-selected geriatric patient. We believe that, appropriately used, this direct reduction technique can be an important adjunct to surgeons dealing with this troublesome fracture.

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