Anatomic and Radiographic Considerations for Placement of Transiliac Screws in Lumbopelvic Fixations

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Summary:Lumbopelvic fixation in spinal and pelvic surgery relies on rods or screws as an iliac anchor. Secure placement of screws with maximum diameter and length for the greatest pullout strength requires knowledge of the iliac structure and of intraoperative fluoroscopic landmarks for secure placement. Therefore, the authors evaluated the intrailiac length, inner width, and cortical thickness of three different transiliac screw anchor paths aimed toward the anterior inferior iliac spine and initiated at the iliac tubercle, posterior superior iliac spine, or posterior inferior iliac spine. Measurements were made using two- and three-dimensional computed tomographic reformations in 40 consecutive trauma patients (27 measurements in 21 males, 16 to 75 years old; 28 measurements in 19 females, 16 to 78 years old). In addition, fresh and dry human cadaveric specimens were marked with metal wires at the previously determined optimal screw path to determine fluoroscopic landmarks for easiest and best controlled transiliac screw placement. The posterior superior iliac spine–anterior inferior iliac spine path had the largest bony canal lengths, with 141 mm in male and 129 mm in female patients. Two stereotypic iliac constrictions allowed placement of 8-mm implants in male and 6- to 7-mm implants in female patients. Cortical thickness at that optimal extraarticular path was 5.2 mm in the male and 4.7 mm in the female patients. Transiliac screws can be placed during operation under fluoroscopic control using standard lateral and obturator oblique–outlet views, the latter presenting a stereotypical teardrop figure above the acetabulum.

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