Malgaigne fracture

Malgaigne fracture is an unstable type of pelvic fracture, which involves one hemipelvis, and results from vertical shear energy vectors.

One of the clinical features is shortening of the leg on the affected side.

It comprises of two ipsilateral pelvic ring fractures, which are vertically orientated:

  • anterior to acetabulum
  • posterior to acetabulum

Most commonly there is disruption of the ipsilateral superior and inferior pubic rami and sacroiliac joint. Common variants involve the ilium or sacral wing rather than the sacroiliac joint. This results in an unstable lateral fragment, which contains the acetabulum.

Diastasis of the pubic symphysis may coexist.

AP radiograph of the pelvis will generally demonstrate this pattern of injury. Additional inlet and outlet views can be performed to further demonstrate displacement of the hemipelvis. There is commonly cephalad displacement of the hemipelvis.

It is named after Joseph-François Malgaigne (1806-65).

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Article information

rID: 15001
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Malgaigne pelvic fracture
  • Malgaigne fractures
  • Malgaigne pelvic fractures

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    Case 3: variant involving ilium rather than SI joint
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    Case 4: pubic rami (yellow) and sacral ala (white)
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