What is a Malgaigne Fracture?
The pelvis is made up of numerous bones including a pubic bone that has an anterior and posterior ring. One ring is in front of the acetabulum, or the hip socket, and the other ring is behind the acetabulum. A bone fracture in each of these rings is termed a Malgaigne fracture and having a pelvic fracture in both the anterior and posterior ring represents a serious traumatic injury.
Mechanism of Injury
A Malgaigne fracture is a fracture of both the anterior and posterior pelvic ring. This means that a force has to be applied from either above or below the pelvic rings with tremendous strength to break both rings at once. Think about someone who is involved in a major auto accident, someone who tumbles from the roof of a house, or who falls onto the crossbar in a bicycle accident.
Treatment of a Malgaigne Fracture
The first step in the treatment of this fracture is to immobilize the injury site to prevent the development of comorbidities down the road. Once the fracture has been immobilized, it will be imaged using x-rays or CT scans to analyze the type of fracture. After, the bones will be reduced (if they are out of place) and immobilized for several weeks to allow the fractures to heal.
Complications are Possible
Because there is a fracture in both the anterior and posterior pelvic ring, it is possible for the bones to shift and move out of place. In the process, they can injure the organs, blood vessels, and nerves that also run in the nearby area. This can create major complications, including internal bleeding, if the bones shift too far.
Structures at Risk
When both the anterior and posterior pelvic rings are broken, there are several structures in the area that are at risk. The genitourinary system is a serious concern because the urethra could be severed by the bone fragments. The uterus also lives in this area and damage to the uterus could lead to serious issues with a current pregnancy and future fertility.
A Malgaigne fracture has several other possibilities on the table, including:
- Anterior or posterior hip dislocation
- Femur head fracture
- Ilium or ischium fracture
- Straddle fracture
A Malgaigne fracture is a serious injury that could be made more serious with damage to nearby structures. While most patients do recover, the prognosis is handled on a case by case basis.
Surgery is Used Regularly
With a fracture of both the anterior and posterior rings, there is nothing to hold the bones in place. The bones are free to float, meaning they are commonly displaced. This means that an open reduction is commonly required to put the bones back into place.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer & Pelvic Fracture Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. If you or your loved one has suffered any form of pelvic fracture, please reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free legal advice. I have a toll-free choice for visitors from outside of Sacramento, which is (800) 404-5400.
I am humbled to be included in the California area’s Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This is a top-notch segment of attorneys that have been named or ranked with some of the country’s top trial attorneys. The lawyers in this group have both reached settlement agreements and earned verdicts worth more than $1 Million dollars.
Several of my office’s prior verdicts and settlements can be read here.
Image Source: Printed with permission under the 3.0 version of the Creative Commons License from Wikimedia Commons
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