Radiographic Findings After Pubic Symphysiotomy: Mean Time to Follow-up of 41.6 Years

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Background:Pubic symphysiotomy is a rarely performed procedure in which the pubic symphysis is divided to facilitate vaginal delivery in cases of obstructed labor. Recently, many obstetricians have shown renewed interest in this procedure. The purpose of this paper is to report the long-term radiographic findings for patients who had undergone pubic symphysiotomy compared with the radiographic appearance of a group of age-matched and parity-matched controls.Methods:This was a retrospective case-control study. Twenty-five women who had previously undergone pubic symphysiotomy for childbirth were compared with twenty-five age-matched and parity-matched controls. The radiographic parameters recorded included pubic symphysis width, pubic symphysis translation, grade of sacroiliac joint osteoarthritis, and presence of parasymphyseal degeneration.Results:The mean time to follow-up after symphysiotomy was 41.6 years (range, twenty-two to fifty-five years). The symphysiotomy group had a significantly higher proportion of patients (80%) with high-grade sacroiliac joint osteoarthritis (Grade 3 or 4 according to the Kellgren and Lawrence osteoarthritis scoring system) than the control group (16%) (p < 0.001). Within the symphysiotomy group, patients with high-grade sacroiliac joint osteoarthritis tended to be older, have a longer time to follow-up, and have a larger pubic symphysis width. The control group had a higher prevalence of parasymphyseal degeneration than did the symphysiotomy group (p = 0.011).Conclusions:Late-onset sacroiliac joint osteoarthritis secondary to pelvic instability was a major finding in this study and, to our knowledge, has not been discussed previously in the literature regarding pubic symphysiotomy.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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