Changing patterns of pediatric pelvic fractures with skeletal maturation: implications for classification and management

J Pediatr Orthop. 2002 Jan-Feb;22(1):22-6.


Orthopaedic traumatologists have recognized the unique fracture patterns and injury constellations of pediatric pelvic fractures. However, an understanding of the effect of advancing skeletal maturation is needed to avoid applying adult classifications and management. The authors determined how pelvic fracture patterns and management change with advancing skeletal maturity. At their pediatric trauma center, they identified 166 consecutive pelvic fractures. Eighty percent of patients had plain radiographs adequate to evaluate the triradiate cartilage. Physes were scored as open, narrowed, or closed. The Risser sign, fracture pattern, survival after injury, and need for open reduction and internal fixation were recorded. Ninety-seven patients (mean age 5.7 years) had an open triradiate or an "immature pelvis." Thirty-two patients (mean age 14 years) had a closed triradiate cartilage or a "mature pelvis." The immature group had a higher propensity for isolated pubic rami and iliac wing fractures. The mature group had a higher predilection for acetabular fractures and pubic or sacroiliac diastasis. All patients requiring open reduction and internal fixation had a mature pelvis. The incidences of specific pelvic fracture patterns between the two groups were statistically different. Management of fractures to the immature pelvis should focus on associated injuries. Once the triradiate cartilage has closed, adult pelvic fracture classifications and management principles should be used.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods
  • Fracture Healing / physiology
  • Fractures, Bone / classification*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Pelvic Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries*
  • Probability
  • Radiography
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors