Multiple pelvic fractures and muscular haematoma in a case of multitrauma
This 71 yo female was a rear seat passenger in a motor vehicle accident. The car was turning and hit by another car at 80 km/hr, with the patient's car overturning. The patient described no loss of consciousness. She described left hip pain.
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- Multiple pelvic fractures present with associated large left anterior pelvis haematoma and active haemorrhage demonstrated in the anterior left pelvis and posterior left pelvis.
- Right quadriceps muscle haematoma with active haemorrhage.
- Left adductor muscle group haematoma with active haemorrhage.
1 case question available
Muscle haematoma commonly occurs after blunt trauma, however usually in the sports setting1. High impact pressures disrupt muscular vasculature, and this can cause build up of blood or a haematoma.
Particular attention needs to be paid to ensure that there the haematoma does not cause compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome is a condition where increased pressure within an osseofascial compartment exceeds the systolic blood pressure. If left untreated, this causes decreased perfusion and resulting ischaemia and necrosis. Definitive management for compartment syndrome consists of a fasciotomy which relieves the pressure within the muscle compartment, restoring blood flow to the limbs.
Comminuted pelvic fractures are associated with blunt trauma - classically high speed motor vehicle accidents, however falls from buildings are also implicated2. Pelvic fractures can be life threatening because they are associated with retroperitoneal haematoma and haemorrhagic shock.
Definitive management of haemodynamically unstable patients with pelvic fractures involves either surgical fixation and surgery or radiological arterio-embolisation to reduce haemorrhage.
Case contributed by A/Prof. Pramit Phal.
- 1. Rööser B. Acta Orthopaedica. 1987;58 (2): . doi:10.3109/17453678709146462
- 2. Geeraerts T, Chhor V, Cheisson G et-al. Clinical review: initial management of blunt pelvic trauma patients with haemodynamic instability. Crit Care. 2007;11 (1): 204. doi:10.1186/cc5157 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation