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Indian J Orthop. 2012 May;46(3):274-8. doi: 10.4103/0019-5413.96376.

Trans-iliosacral plating for vertically unstable fractures of sacral spine associated with spinopelvic dissociation: A cadaveric study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, MGM Institute of Health Sciences & Group Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The treatment algorithm for sacral fracture associated with vertical shear pelvic fracture has not emerged. Our aim was to study a new approach of fixation for comminuted and vertically unstable fracture pattern with spinopelvic dissociation to overcome inconsistent outcome and avoid complications associated with fixations. We propose fixation with well-contoured thick reconstruction plate spreading across sacrum from one iliac bone to another with fixation points in iliac wing, sacral ala and sacral pedicle on either side. Present biomechanical study tests the four fixation pattern to compare their stiffness to vertical compressive forces.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Dissection was performed on human cadavers through posterior midline paraspinal approach elevating erector spinae from insertion with two flaps. Feasibility of surgical exposure and placement of contoured plate for fixation was evaluated. Ten age and sex matched computed tomography scans of pelvis with both hips were obtained. Reconstructions were performed with advantage windows 4.2 (GE Light Speed QX/I, General Electric, Milwaukee, WI, USA). Using the annotation tools, direct digital CT measurement (0.6 mm increments) of three linear parameters was carried out. Readings were recorded at S2 sacral level. Pelvic CT scans were extensively studied for entry point, trajectory and estimated length for screw placement in S2 pedicle, sacral ala and iliac wing. Readings were recorded for desired angulation of screw in iliac wing ala of sacrum and sacral pedicle with respect to midline. The readings were analyzed by the values of mean and standard deviation. Biomechanical efficacy of fixation methods was studied separately on synthetic bone. Four fixation patterns given below were tested to compare their stiffness to vertical compressive forces: 1) Single S1 iliosacral screw (7.5 mm cancellous screw), 2) Two S1 and S2 iliosacral screws, 3) Isolated trans-iliosacral plate, 4) Trans-iliosacral plate + single S1 iliosacral screw.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

Mean of desired angulation for inserting screws and percentage of displacement on biomechanical testing was evaluated.

RESULTS:

Mean angulations for inserting sacral pedicel were 12.3° (SD 2.7°) convergent to midline and divergent of 14° (SD 2.3°) for sacral ala screw and 23° (SD 4.9°) for iliac wing screw. All screws needed to be inserted at an angle of 90° to sacral dorsum to avoid violation of root canals. Cross headed displacement across fracture site was measured and plotted against the applied vertical shear load of 300 N in five cycles each for all the four configurations. Also, the force required for cross headed displacement of 2.5 mm and 5 mm was recorded for all configurations. Transmitted load across both ischial tuberosities was measured to resolve unequal distribution of forces. Taking one screw construct (configuration 1) as standard base reference, trans-iliosacral plate construct (configuration 3) showed equal rigidity to standard reference. Two screw construct (configuration 2) was 12% stronger and trans-iliosacral plate (configuration 4) with screw was 9% stronger at 2.5 mm displacing on 300 N force, while it showed 30% and 6%, respectively, at 5 mm cross-headed displacement.

CONCLUSIONS:

Trans-iliosacral plating is feasible anatomically, biomechanically and radiologically for sacral fractures associated with vertical shear pelvic fractures. Low profile of plate reduces the risk of hardware prominence and decreases the need for implant removal. Also, the fixation pattern of plate allows to spare mobile lumbosacral junction which is an important segment for spinal mobility. Biomechanical studies revealed that rigidity offered by plate for cross headed displacement across fracture site is equal to sacroiliac screws and further rigidity of construct can be increased with addition of one more screw. There is need for precountered thicker plate in future.

KEYWORDS:

Spinopelvic dissociation; trans-iliosacral plating; unstable sacral spine fractures

PMID:
22719112
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3377136
Free PMC Article

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