Methodology and interpretation of radiographic outcomes in surgically treated pelvic fractures: A systematic review

Kelly A. Lefaivre, Gerard Slobogean, Adam J. Starr, Pierre Guy, Peter J. O'Brien, Sheina A. MacAdam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify and evaluate previously described methods for the measurement, and interpretation, of radiographic outcomes of operatively treated pelvic fractures. Data Sources: A systematic review of the available literature was performed using all major databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, MEDLINE IN-PROGRESS, and Cochrane Central) in August 2009. Study Selection: Inclusion criteria were case series, cohort studies, or clinical trials regarding orthopaedic treatment of acute traumatic pelvic ring fractures treated surgically in adults, with at least 12 weeks of radiographic follow-up. Exclusion criteria were case reports or case series of <10 patients, review articles, foreign language articles, and series where time frame of outcome measurement was not stated were excluded. Data Extraction: Modality, and timeline, of the radiographic assessment was recorded. Next, the description of the method of radiographic measurement technique used was scrutinized for standardization. The interpretation of the radiographic measurement was evaluated, and any grading scale used was recorded. The interpretation of the quality of the radiographic result as described by each author was recorded. Finally, a qualitative methodological analysis was performed. Data Synthesis: Number of standardized radiographic assessment techniques used (3 of 31) and interpretation scales used (13 of 31) were calculated. Nonweighted mean follow-up time (30.6 months) and overall positive radiographic outcomes were calculated (78.6% good or excellent). Conclusions: Reporting of radiographic outcomes in pelvic fractures has been done using largely unstandardized and universally untested measurement techniques. The interpretations of these measurements are also inconsistent and untested. Substantive future research is needed in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of orthopaedic trauma
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • outcomes assessment
  • pelvic fracture
  • radiographic assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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