Intra-abdominal and intra-pelvic complications following operations around the hip: causes and management—a review of the literature

  • Panagiotis P. Anastasopoulos
  • Panagiotis Lepetsos
  • Andreas O. Leonidou
  • Anastasios Gketsos
  • Eleftherios Tsiridis
  • George A. Macheras
General Review • HIP - ARTHROPLASTY


Although successful and well-established procedures, hip operations whether elective or trauma are coupled with a variety of complications. Among the most uncommon complications are injuries to intra-abdominal or intra-pelvic organs which could prove potentially life-threatening. While there are various reports of such injuries in the literature, we aimed to perform a systematic review in order to examine the causes and relationships between intra-abdominal and intra-pelvic complications and the mechanism of injury, the pattern of presentation, identification, the course of management and outcomes. We identified 69 reports describing a total of 84 complications in intra-pelvic and intra-abdominal contents in 75 patients. These involved six major categories, including the intestinal tract, the urinary tract, the genital tract, the vascular system, the viscera and peripheral nerves. The most commonly injured system was the urinary (33.33%), followed by the vascular (29.76%) and the intestinal (22.62%). Among these systems, the most prevalent complications involved injury to the urinary bladder (32.14%), the large intestine (68.42%) and the external iliac artery (44%). The majority of recorded complications were postoperative with 71 incidents in 63 cases (84.52%). In intra-operative complications the most prevalent injury was due to hardware penetration (53.85%), while in postoperative it was due to hardware migration (92.06%). The management of injuries varied widely, with the most common approach being open exploration and direct repair (77.33%). The reported management outcomes included death (8%) and Girdlestone resection (2.67%), while the majority of the patients healed uneventfully (82.67%) owing mostly to immediate intervention. Despite being rare, such complications may still occur in a variety of settings and may subsequently lead to potential life-threatening situations. Thus, in order to avoid catastrophic outcomes we emphasize the need for prompt identification, immediate intervention and a multidisciplinary approach when necessary.


Intra-abdominal Intra-pelvic Complications Hip 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.4th Department of Trauma and OrthopaedicsKAT HospitalAthensGreece
  2. 2.Third Academic Department of Orthopaedics and TraumaAristotle University Medical SchoolThessaloníkiGreece

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