Imaging of Pelvic and Acetabular Trauma: Part 2, Soft-Tissue Findings

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2023 Sep 15;31(18):e706-e720. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-23-00190. Epub 2023 Jul 12.


Pelvic ring injuries and acetabular fractures can be complex and challenging to treat. Orthopaedic trauma surgeons scrutinize pelvic radiographs and accompanying CT images for the osseous details that help create a thorough patient-specific preoperative plan. While the osseous details are incredibly important, the surrounding soft-tissue structures are equally as critical and can have a tremendous effect on both the patient and the surgeon. These findings may change surgery timing, dictate the need for additional surgeons or multidisciplinary teams, and determine the treatment sequence. The structures and potential clinical findings reviewed and demonstrated through example images should be sought out during physical examination and correlative preoperative imaging review. Combining all the available osseous and nonosseous information with a detailed approach helps the surgeon predict potential pitfalls and adjust surgical plans before incision. Maximizing the accuracy of the preoperative planning process can streamline treatment algorithm development and ultimately contribute to the best possible clinical patient outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / diagnostic imaging
  • Acetabulum / injuries
  • Acetabulum / surgery
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods
  • Fractures, Bone* / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone* / surgery
  • Hip Fractures*
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Bones* / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Bones* / injuries
  • Pelvic Bones* / surgery
  • Pelvis
  • Radiography