Pelvic fractures are among the most serious and technically complex injuries treated by orthopedic trauma surgeons. The ring-shaped pelvis supports body weight and often breaks in two places. Every year 150,000 pelvic fractures occur in the United States.1 These fractures, often from car accidents or falls, require rapid and precise fixation for repair. Existing fixation methods require lengthy, difficult surgical procedures and can result in ineffective bone fixation, which causes pain, slows recovery and can contribute to long-term disability.
• Many bones aren’t straight; so, screws can’t be used
• 15% of screw fixations fail due to pullout 2,3
• Can require open procedures with hours of operating room time
• Operating room time averages $100 per minute in the U.S.4
• Screws and plates don’t hold well in weakened osteoporotic bone
• Elderly usually do not receive fixation resulting in long-term bed confinement, leading to 33-69% nursing home admittance and 18-25% 1-year mortality 5,6
1. 2011 HCUP database; 2011 Part B Summary Data Files.
2. Griffin, Starr, et. al., Unstable pelvic fractures… does injury pattern predict failure, J. Ortho Trauma, 2006.
3. Starr, et. al., Superior Pubic Ramus Fractures… What predicts fixation failure, J. Ortho Trauma, 2008.
4. Macario,A., What does one min of OR time cost?, JCA, 2010
5. W.A. van Dijk, et. al., Ten-year mortality… with pubic rami fractures, Injury 2009
6. Breuil, V, et. al., Outcome of osteoporotic pelvic fractures, JBJS, 2008