Acetabulum fractures occur in the “socket” section of the “ball and socket” hip joint. An acetabulum fracture is usually caused by a high-energy impact such as a car crash or a fall, when a sudden strong force drives the head of the femur ball into the acetabulum. A patient can have both a fracture and a dislocation if the femoral head ends up outside the acetabulum. Many patients can experience damage to surrounding skin, muscles, and neurovascular structures (nerves, arteries and veins). Any form of an acetabulum fracture is very serious and requires urgent and precise treatment.
Like any injury, the goal of treating an acetabulum fracture is to enable the patient to return to their day-to-day activities. The surgery to treat an acetabular fracture is difficult and should be performed by an experienced, fellowship trained orthopedic doctor like Dr. Louis.
Typically, the surgeon will line up the bone fragments and remove the broken shards of bone from inside the joint. They will most often use plates and screws to stabilize the fragments. Realignment of the bones is achieved through an open reduction procedure, in which the surgeon makes an incision to directly maneuver the bone. After surgery, patients should be wary of putting any significant amount of pressure or weight on the leg under the hip until the fracture heals.