What is an Acetabular Fracture?

Acetabular fractures are a break in the hip ‘socket’ of the pelvis. They can occur as a result of a serious injury, for example a road traffic accident or heavy fall but sometimes as a result of a more trivial fall onto one’s side – this mechanism of injury is more common in elderly patients.

X-Ray showing an Acetabular Fracture

These fractures result in damage to the hip joint and if there is a large gap in the bones (known as fracture displacement), there will be premature arthritis in the hip joint. If there is displacement of the fracture, an operation is performed to restore the shape of the hip joint. These can be long and complex procedures, so they are generally only performed in specialist centres.

                                                                                                                               Examples of Acetabular Fracture Fixation

Patients over the age of 50 who sustain these injuries are at a much higher risk of developing arthritis and the likelihood of them requiring a hip replacement is much higher.