Bladder exstrophy masquerading as a pelvic fracture.

Amir Haim, Amir Sternheim, Michael Drexler, Meir Marmor, Eli L. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bladder exstrophy-epispadias complex is a rare spectrum of congenital anomalies that includes a midline abdominal wall defect and a widened pelvis with an anterior diastasis. Our patient was involved in a motorcycle accident with severe multiple injuries and concomitant bladder extrophy. In a unique and urgent clinical setting, his congenital pubic diastasis was initially misdiagnosed as a traumatic finding. A 21-year-old man presented with pelvic and extremity injuries following a motorcycle accident. Multiple fractures in the lower and upper extremities were diagnosed. Marked deformity and diastases of the pubic bones were observed on pelvic inspection. Ninety minutes later, hemodynamic deterioration ensued and was thought to be related to internal pelvic bleeding. The patient was prepared for immediate pelvic stabilization with an external fixator; however, after reevaluation, an intact posterior pelvic complex and lack of a hematoma was observed on a computed tomography scan. The stability of the pelvis was tested under an image intensifier. No instability was present, and pelvic injury was ruled out. Exstrophy-epispadias syndrome constitutes a potential pitfall in emergency trauma medicine. As demonstrated in the present case, in the emergency management of an unstable trauma patient, nontraumatic etiologies are often not considered in the differential diagnosis of pelvic diastasis. Avoiding false diagnosis and needless procedures necessitates familiarity with this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57
Number of pages1
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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