Pelvic fracture is a disruption of the bony structures of the pelvis, including pelvic ring fractures, acetabular fractures, and avulsion fractures. Generally, pelvic fractures occur due to high-energy trauma; however, elderly patients may suffer pelvic injuries due to lower energy mechanisms. The bony pelvis consists of the ilium, ischium, and pubis, which form an anatomic ring with the sacrum.
Disruption of this ring requires significant energy, often leading to multiple fractures. Because of the forces involved, pelvic fractures frequently cause injury to organs contained within the bony pelvis. In addition, trauma to extra-pelvic organs is common.
Pelvic fractures are often associated with severe hemorrhage due to the extensive blood supply to the region. Most commonly, pelvic fractures result from motor vehicle crashes, falls, and pedestrians struck by motor vehicles.
There tends to be a bimodal distribution of these injuries with younger males sustaining high-energy pelvic fractures with other associated traumatic injuries, and elderly female suffering low-energy pelvic fractures without associated injuries.