BACKGROUND: Geriatric sacral fractures represent an independent fracture entity of increasing incidence and growing socioeconomic relevance. The goals of treatment are very different to those in younger patients with high-energy pelvic fractures. Hence, new outcome measurement instruments are required in order to assess the success of treatment.
OBJECTIVE: Literature review summarizing existing concepts and providing an overview of outcome measurement instruments for geriatric sacral fractures.
METHODS: Narrative review article based on an analysis of the German and English-speaking literature from the last 10 years.
RESULTS: Geriatric sacral fractures result in impaired mobility, increased physical and social loss of dependency and increased morbidity and mortality rates. There is a lack of standardized specific assessment procedures for functional outcome measurement after geriatric sacral fractures. Until these are developed and validated, a parallel acquisition of mortality, the timed up and go test, the Oswestry disability index (ODI) and a generic healthcare questionnaire score (SF-36, EQ-5D) seem to be most suitable.
CONCLUSION: At present our knowledge about the natural course of geriatric sacral fractures is limited by the lack of well-validated instruments to measure functional and radiographic outcomes. This has to be considered when evaluating the success of new treatment options for these patients. Future studies should validate existing scores for this population and develop new specific outcome instruments.