Scientific Article   |    
Injury of the Femoral Nerve Associated with Acetabular Fracture
Konrad I. Gruson, MD; Berton R. Moed, MD
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Investigation performed at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Konrad I. Gruson, MD
Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003

Berton R. Moed, MD
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, St. Louis University, 3635 Vista Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail address: bmoed@aol.com

The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2003 Mar 01;85(3):428-431
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Background: The purpose of the present study was to document the prevalence of, and recovery from, injuries of the femoral nerve associated with displaced acetabular fractures.

Methods: From 1986 to 2001, 726 acetabular fractures were treated with open reduction and internal fixation. Four patients who had an injury of the femoral nerve associated with a displaced acetabular fracture were identified and were followed for a mean of 3.4 years. The nerve injury was iatrogenic in two patients and traumatic in two patients.

Results: Clinically detectable quadriceps femoris motor function returned at an average of eighteen weeks (range, four to fifty-two weeks). All patients had satisfactory recovery of nerve function with a return of grade-4 or 5 motor power (the level of motor power needed to allow a normal gait) by an average of ten months (range, three to twenty-four months). Sensory recovery was incomplete but not debilitating.

Conclusions: Preoperative examination of a patient who has an acetabular fracture should include an assessment of femoral nerve function. Regardless of whether the injury is traumatic or iatrogenic in origin, recovery of motor and sensory function without surgical exploration can be expected.

Level of Evidence: Prognostic study, Level II-1 (retrospective study). See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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