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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9250938, 8 pages
Case Report

An Atraumatic Symphysiolysis with a Unilateral Injured Sacroiliac Joint in a Patient with Cushing’s Disease: A Loss of Pelvic Stability Related to Ligamentous Insufficiency?

1Department of Orthopedics, Trauma and Plastic Surgery, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Grosse Steinstrasse 52, 06097 Halle (Saale), Germany

Received 23 November 2015; Accepted 4 January 2016

Academic Editor: Nikolaos K. Kanakaris

Copyright © 2016 Andreas Höch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glucocorticoids are well known for altering bone structure and elevating fracture risk. Nevertheless, there are very few reports on pelvic ring fractures, compared to other bones, especially with a predominantly ligamentous insufficiency, resulting in a rotationally unstable pelvic girdle. We report a 39-year-old premenopausal woman suffering from an atraumatic symphysiolysis and disruption of the left sacroiliac joint. She presented with external rotational pelvic instability and immobilization. Prior to the injury, she received high-dose glucocorticoids for a tentative diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis over two months. This diagnosis was not confirmed. Other causes leading to the unstable pelvic girdle were excluded by several laboratory and radiological examinations. Elevated basal cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone levels were measured and subsequent corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulation, dexamethasone suppression test, and petrosal sinus sampling verified the diagnosis of adrenocorticotropic hormone-dependent Cushing’s disease. The combination of adrenocorticotropic hormone-dependent Cushing’s disease and the additional application of exogenous glucocorticoids is the most probable cause of a rare atraumatic rotational pelvic instability in a premenopausal patient. To the authors’ knowledge, this case presents the first description of a rotationally unstable pelvic ring fracture involving a predominantly ligamentous insufficiency in the context of combined exogenous and endogenous glucocorticoid elevation.