The diagnosis of pelvic fractures by 'springing'

Arch Emerg Med. 1990 Sep;7(3):178-82. doi: 10.1136/emj.7.3.178.


Thirty-six patients were studied prospectively to assess the benefit of 'springing' the pelvis in traumatized patients, to confirm or refute a fracture of the pelvis. None of the patients was multiply injured and half of those with fractures were elderly, sustaining their injuries in simple falls. Springing the pelvis was a poor predictor of the presence or absence of a pelvic fracture, at best it yielded a specificity of 71% and sensitivity of 59%. Its routine use in clinical examination should be abandoned.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis*
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Hip Fractures / diagnosis*
  • Hip Fractures / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries*
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Pressure
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trauma Severity Indices