Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 254–257 | Cite as

Sacral insufficiency fractures—Rare complication of pelvic radiation for rectal carcinoma

Report of a case
  • Virendra A. Parikh
  • James W. Edlund
Case Reports


PURPOSE: The report contained herein presents a patient who developed severe back pain because of bilateral sacral insufficiency fractures after pelvic radiation for rectal carcinoma. METHODS: This is a case report and review of the literature for a rare complication of pelvic radiation. RESULT: The patient was diagnosed by computerized tomography and radionuclide bone scans. Bed rest and analgesia followed by rehabilitation provided good relief of the symptoms. CONCLUSION: A rare complication of pelvic radiation is insufficiency fractures of the pelvis. Early detection is important, because significant morbidity may result from delaying treatment. Unawareness of this complication may lead to diagnostic difficulties and unnecessary work-up.

Key words

Insufficiency fractures Radiation injury effects Radiotherapy Complications 


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Copyright information

© the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virendra A. Parikh
    • 1
  • James W. Edlund
    • 1
  1. 1.From Parkview Memorial HospitalFort Wayne

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