The majority of acetabular fractures are caused by some type of high-energy events, such as a car collision. Many times patients will have additional injuries that require immediate treatment.
In a smaller number of cases, a low-energy incident, such as a fall from standing, may cause an acetabular fracture in an older person who has weaker bones.
Treatment for acetabular fractures often involves surgery to restore the normal anatomy of the hip and stabilize the hip joint.
The bone surfaces of the ball and socket are covered with articular cartilage—a smooth, slippery substance that protects and cushions the bones and enables them to move easily.
Bands of tissue called ligaments connect one bone to another. These ligaments help provide both function and stability to the hip joint, allowing it to move without falling out of the socket.
Major nerves, blood vessels, and portions of the bowel, bladder, and the reproductive organs all pass within or close to the pelvis. These structures can occasionally be damaged as the result of an injury to the acetabulum.