Iliac fractures are fractures of the pelvic bone. The ilium is the largest. It has a wide, flat shape, and helps to protect the delicate abdominal organs. The strong, curved edge of the ilium that forms the iliac crest gives strength to the structure of the pelvis. The iliac crest is the curved ridge at the top of the pelvic bone which forms the prominent bone of the hip.
Many important hip, back, and abdominal muscles originate at the iliac crest. Also an important bone structure, the iliac crest contains considerable amounts of bone marrow. An iliac fracture may result in cases of hip trauma or, in few cases, as a complication in bone marrow donors where marrow has been taken from the iliac crest. These fractures, although exquisitely painful, are often considered mechanically stable because the pelvic ring remains intact.
Stable iliac fractures typically respond well to non-operative treatment, such as immobilization with crutches or a walker until the pain decreases. Medication is usually given to decrease pain. Unstable fractures are rare and typically treated with internal fixation.