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Small Bowel Obstruction Secondary to Entrapment in a Minimally Displaced Acetabular Fracture

A Case Report

Westberg, Scott MD, FRCSC1; Kupfer, Nathalie MD2; Fung, Christopher MD, FRCPC3; Widder, Sandy MD, MHA, MSc4; Glasgow, Donald MD, FRCSC1

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.18.00222
Case Reports

Case: We present a unique case of bowel entrapment within a minimally displaced acetabular fracture. Our patient was injured after a fall from height. He was able to walk with minimal pain, and presented to hospital the following day for symptoms consistent with bowel obstruction. Imaging demonstrated a transition point at the fracture site. He was taken for emergency surgical decompression, bowel repair, and irrigation of his hip.

Conclusions: Bowel entrapment within a pelvic fracture is rare. Our case illustrates the importance of maintaining a high level of suspicion, despite fracture displacement, to allow early diagnosis and appropriate management.

1Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

2University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

3Division of Radiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

4Division of General Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

E-mail address for S. Westberg:

Investigation performed at University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Disclosure: The Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest forms are provided with the online version of the article (

Copyright © 2019 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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