Management of partial traumatic hemipelvectomy

Orthopedics. 2013 Nov;36(11):e1340-5. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20131021-12.


Partial traumatic hemipelvectomy is a devastating condition. Although by definition the affected limb is not totally transected from the trunk because of retained soft tissue, the reported mortality rate is actually higher than in complete traumatic hemipelvectomy. Between January 2000 and December 2011, a total of 917 patients were admitted to the authors' institution for pelvic fracture. Seven of these patients met the criteria for partial traumatic hemipelvectomy. All 7 patients had multiple associated injuries and met the criteria for Baskett class IV hypovolemic shock on arrival at the emergency department. The amount of bleeding was the greatest issue, and control of hemorrhage and rapid blood transfusion were the initial goals. Abdominal aorta balloon occlusion, laparotomy and packing, and pelvic external fixation were useful to control bleeding. Two patients died during the initial resuscitation phase. Angiography (digital subtraction or computed tomographic) was performed in 4 patients but did not provide any treatment-altering information. Limb preservation was attempted in 2 patients; both of these patients eventually required hindquarter amputation. One patient died, and the second patient survived after a difficult postoperative course. The best results were obtained in 3 patients who underwent completion of the hindquarter amputation within 24 hours of trauma. All patients became wheelchair dependent, and no patient was able to return to work. Early completion of hindquarter amputation after hemorrhaging has been controlled is recommended in patients with partial traumatic hemipelvectomy. Angiography did not prove useful in decision making.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amputation, Traumatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Amputation, Traumatic / therapy*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pelvic Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries*
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult