J Trauma Inj.  2020 Mar;33(1):18-22. 10.20408/jti.2019.044.

Feasibility of Early Definitive Internal Fixation of Pelvic Bone Fractures in Therapeutic Open Abdomen

  • 1Department of Surgery, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan,
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan,



Damage control laparotomy has contributed to improved survival rates for severe abdominal injuries. A large part of severe abdominal injury occurs with a concomitant pelvic bone fracture. The safety and effectiveness of internal fixation of pelvic bone fracture(s) has not been established. The aim of the present study was to evaluate infection risk in the pelvic surgical site in patients who underwent emergent abdominal surgery.


This single-center retrospective observational study was based on data collected from a prospectively maintained registry between January 2015 and June 2019. Patients who underwent laparotomy and pelvic internal fixation were included. Individuals <18 and ≥80 years of age, those with no microbiological investigations, and those who underwent one-stage abdominal surgery were excluded. Comprehensive statistical comparative analysis was not performed due to the small number of enrolled patients.


A total of six patients met the inclusion criteria, and the most common injury mechanism was anterior-posterior compression (67%). The average duration of open abdomen was 98 hours (range, 44–198), and the time interval between abdominal closure and pelvic surgery was 98 hours. One patient (16.7%) died due to multi-organ dysfunction syndrome. Micro-organisms were identified in the abdominal surgical site in five patients (83%), with no micro-organisms in pelvic surgical sites. There was no unplanned implant removal.


Internal fixation of pelvic bone fracture(s) could be performed in the state of open abdomen, and the advantages of early fixation may countervail the risks for cross contamination.


Abdominal injuries; Laparotomy; Pelvic bones; Fracture fixation; Infections
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