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Acetabular fracture

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Fractures of the acetabulum occur when the head of the femur is driven into the pelvis.

There are two common patterns of trauma:

  • a blow from the side - e.g. a fall
  • a posterior dislocation of the hip - e.g. a blow on the knee from a car crash

Acetabular fractures are particularly complex because they combine:

  • the complications of pelvic fractures - notably vascular damage
  • the complications of joint disruption - notably articular cartilage damage, malcongruent loading and secondary arthritis

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