Parturition-induced pelvic dislocation: a report of four cases

J Orthop Trauma. 1997 May;11(4):277-81; discussion 281-2. doi: 10.1097/00005131-199705000-00009.


Objective: To describe our experience with four cases of severe pelvic dislocation associated with difficult parturition.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Patients: Four patients, each with rupture of the symphysis pubis and sacroiliac joints during labor. All injuries were associated with significant initial pain and disability. All developed persistent symptoms related to the sacroiliac disruption.

Interventions: The three patients who had presented acutely were freated with closed reduction and application of a pelvic binder. Two underwent closed reduction of their pelvic dislocation while anesthetized with a general anesthetic. One patient (N.A.), who presented late, had not been treated with a binder.

Results: All four patients had persistent posterior pelvic (sacroiliac) pain. In two patients a postpartum neuropathy persisted.

Conclusions: Severe pelvic dislocations are rare during labor, with conservative treatment reported to be successful in most cases. The persistence of symptoms in our patients emphasizes the need for careful examination and follow-up of these rare injuries. Because the outcome in our patients was poor and results in the literature are equivocal, we suggest the consideration of an operative approach to treatment in patients with symphyseal diastasis of > 4.0 cm.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal*
  • Fractures, Closed / etiology
  • Fractures, Closed / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Pubic Symphysis / injuries*
  • Puerperal Disorders / etiology
  • Puerperal Disorders / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies