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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Management outcomes in pubic diastasis: our experience with 19 patients

Sameer Aggarwal, Kamal Bali*, Vibhu Krishnan, Vishal Kumar, Dharm Meena and Ramesh K Sen

Author Affiliations

Dept of Orthopaedics, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh - 160 012, India

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011, 6:21  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-21

Published: 17 May 2011



Pubic diastasis, a result of high energy antero-posterior compression (APC) injury, has been managed based on the Young and Burguess classification system. The mode of fixation in APC II injury has, however, been a subject of controversy and some authors have proposed a need to address the issue of partial breach of the posterior pelvic ring elements in these injuries.


The study included a total of 19 patients with pubic diastasis managed by us from May 2006 to December 2007. There was a single patient with type I APC injury who treated conservatively. Type II APC injuries (13 patients) were treated surgically with symphyseal plating using single anterior/superior plates or double perpendicularly placed plates. Type III injuries (5 patients) in addition underwent posterior fixation using plates or percutaneous sacro-iliac screws. The outcome was assessed clinically (Majeed score) and radiologically.


The mean follow-up was for 2.9 years (6 months to 4.5 years). Among the 13 patients with APC II injuries, the clinical scores were excellent in one (7.6%), good in 6 (46.15%), fair in 4 (30.76%) and poor in 2 (15.38%). Radiological scores were excellent in 2 (15.38%), good in 8 (61.53%), fair in 2 (15.38%) and poor in one patient (7.6%). Among the 5 patients with APC III injuries, there were 2 patients each with good (50%) and fair (50%) clinical scores while one patient was lost on long term follow up. The radiological outcomes were also similar in these. Complications included implant failure in 3 patients, postoperative infection in 2 patients, deep venous thrombosis in one patient and bladder herniation in one of the patients with implant failure.


There is no observed dissimilarity in outcomes between isolated anterior and combined symphyseal (perpendicular) plating techniques in APC II injuries. Single anterior symphyseal plating along with posterior stabilisation provides a stable fixation in type III APC injuries. Limited dissection ensuring adequate intactness of rectus sheath is important to avoid long term post-operative complications.