Osteitis pubis and instability of the pubic symphysis. When nonoperative measures fail

Am J Sports Med. May-Jun 2000;28(3):350-5. doi: 10.1177/03635465000280031101.


Seven rugby players with osteitis pubis and vertical instability at the pubic symphysis were treated operatively after nonoperative treatment had failed to improve their symptoms. The vertical instability was diagnosed based on flamingo view radiographs showing greater than 2 mm of vertical displacement. The players had undergone at least 13 months of nonoperative therapy before surgery was considered. Operative treatment consisted of arthrodesis of the pubic symphysis by bone grafting supplemented by a compression plate. At a mean follow-up of 52.4 months, all patients were free of symptoms and flamingo views confirmed successful arthrodesis with no residual instability of the pubic symphysis. Based on our results with this procedure, we believe that arthrodesis of the pubic symphysis has a role in the treatment of osteitis pubis that is recalcitrant to nonoperative treatment. The combination of osteitis pubis and vertical pubis symphyseal instability may be the cause of failure of nonoperative treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthrodesis / methods
  • Bone Plates
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Instability / etiology
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Osteitis / complications
  • Osteitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteitis / surgery*
  • Pubic Symphysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pubic Symphysis / injuries*
  • Pubic Symphysis / surgery*
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome