Urology 2019 02 14;124:260-263. Epub 2018 Nov 14.
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
Objective: To examine the rate of urethral trauma and pubic symphysis diastasis in saddle horn injury, which occurs when horseback riders are bucked into the air and land with their perineum striking the rigid saddle horn, compared to pelvic fracture from other mechanisms.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of male patients presenting to our level-1 trauma center with pelvic ring fractures between January 1, 2001 and December 30, 2016. Demographics, injury severity score, mechanism of injury (saddle horn vs other), pubic symphysis diastasis, and lower genitourinary (GU) injuries (bladder and urethra) were identified in the trauma registry. Chart review confirmed accuracy of lower GU trauma.
Results: A total of 1195 males presented with pelvic ring fractures, average age 43 years (SD 19 years). Of these, 87 of 1195 (7%) presented with lower GU injuries. Saddle horn injuries had a higher rate of lower GU injuries, 12/60 (20%) versus 75 of 1135 (7%) [P = .001]. In those with lower GU injuries, 47 of 87 (54%) had urethral injury. The rate of urethral injury was significantly higher in the saddle horn cohort, 10 of 12 (83%) versus 37 of 75 (49%) [P = .03]. Furthermore, rate of pubic symphysis diastasis was higher amongst saddle horn injuries, 12 of 12 (100%) versus other mechanisms 39 of 75 (52%) [P = .001].
Conclusion: We found that urethral injury and pubic symphysis diastasis were higher in patients with saddle horn injury compared to other mechanisms of pelvic ring disruption. Clinicians should be aware of these associations when treating pelvic fracture following equestrian injuries.