Unstable fractures of the pelvic ring are an increasingly frequent outcome of motor vehicle trauma. Neurologic injury after such injuries can be a cause of significant morbidity. The available literature on neurologic injuries was reviewed and compared with a clinical review of 90 unstable pelvic injuries treated during a 3-year period. Eighty-three patients were available for followup examination. Neurologic injuries were seen in 21% of the patients. Thirty-seven percent of patients had sensory deficits alone whereas the remaining 63% had motor and sensory findings. All patients showed some evidence of neurologic recovery at an average of 24-months followup. At least 1 grade of muscle function improvement was consistently seen and 53% of patients had complete neurologic recovery. Improvement in function was seen as many as 24 months postinjury, but L5 function was least likely to progress to full recovery. The incidence of neurologic injuries and their distribution was similar to that reported in the literature, whereas the prognosis for neurologic recovery was significantly better. This may be related to techniques of early anatomic reduction and stabilization of unstable pelvic ring injuries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine