Transverse acetabular fractures involve a single fracture line which crosses the acetabulum through both posterior and anterior columns. Such fractures divide the acetabulum into an upper portion (ilium with the roof), and a lower portion (ischium and pubis).
The transverse fracture can cross the columns at different levels, and is variable in its inclination in sagittal and coronal planes. Occasionally, comminution is present.
Further details on transverse fractures are provided in section Characteristics of elemental fracture types.
2. Classification of transverse fractures
Transverse fractures are classified according to their relationship to the roof of the acetabulum:
- Transtectal - dividing the roof of the acetabulum (yellow fracture line)
- Juxtatectal - dividing the fossa acetabuli and the roof (red fracture line)
- Infratectal - cutting the fossa acetabuli in the middle (brown fracture line)
A summary of diagnosing the fracture classification based on x-ray and CT images is presented in section Patient assessment.
The section Radiology of the intact acetabulum provides explanation of the radiologic landmarks.
The section Characteristics of elemental fracture types provides further information on the radiology of transverse fractures.