[Chronic instability of the pubic symphysis : Etiology, diagnostics and treatment management]

Unfallchirurg. 2016 May;119(5):433-46. doi: 10.1007/s00113-016-0166-4.
[Article in German]


The most frequent causes of chronic instability of the pubic symphysis are sports-related continual overload and traumatic symphyseal injuries. Acute injury of the pubic symphysis may be the result of external forces acting on the anterior pelvic ring or the result of internal forces, such as those arising during parturition. The postpartum form of instability following a complication-free birth is reversible and usually returns to normal within a few months through strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles. Residual instability of the pubis symphysis is on the whole a rare complication. Although established therapy options for acute symphyseal separation can be found in the literature, there are only a few case reports on chronic symphyseal instability. There are no guidelines on standardized therapy options. This review article examines the etiology, clinical findings, diagnostic techniques and management options for patients suffering from chronic symphyseal instability.

Keywords: Athletes; Hypermobility; Osteosynthesis; Pregnancy; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnosis*
  • Joint Instability / etiology
  • Joint Instability / therapy*
  • Pubic Symphysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pubic Symphysis / injuries*
  • Treatment Outcome