Complications of pelvic ring fixation in patients requiring laparotomy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pelvic ring disruptions in blunt trauma are rarely an isolated finding. Many individuals needing operative pelvic fixation also require laparotomy for other injuries. Pelvic fixation can be performed by open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) or external fixation (Ex-fix). Often when a laparotomy incision is present, ORIF is performed by extending this incision. We hypothesized ORIF performed by extending the laparotomy incision would result in higher rates of ventral hernia and wound complications versus Ex-fix.All patients admitted from 2004-June 2014 who underwent laparotomy and pelvic fixation either by ORIF through extension of a laparotomy incision (ORIF group) or definitive Ex-fix group were identified. Injury severity score, demographics, associated injuries, and complications were collected.A total of 35 patients were identified who underwent laparotomy and pelvic fixation, 21 underwent Ex-fix, whereas 14 underwent ORIF through an extended laparotomy incision. There were no differences in injury severity score, demographics, associated injuries, or rate of ventral hernia. The ORIF group had more laparotomy incision infections (50.0% versus 4.8%, P < 0.01) and pelvic abscesses (42.9% versus 9.5%, P < 0.05). They required more procedures to address their complications (13 versus 5, P < 0.05).Individuals who have undergone laparotomy and pelvic fixation are a complex group of patients with multiple injuries. These data suggest that when surgical repair of a pelvic ring disruption is indicated and the patient has undergone laparotomy, careful consideration to the method of fixation should be given.Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • June 2015