The Development of a Universally Accepted Sacral Fracture Classification: A Survey of AOSpine and AOTrauma Members

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Study Design

Survey study.


To determine the global perspective on controversial aspects of sacral fracture classifications.


While developing the AOSpine Sacral Injury Classification System, a survey was sent to all members of AOSpine and AOTrauma. The survey asked four yes-or-no questions to help determine the best way to handle controversial aspects of sacral fractures in future classifications. Chi-square tests were initially used to compare surgeons' answers to the four key questions of the survey, and then the data was modeled through multivariable logistic regression analysis.


A total of 474 surgeons answered all questions in the survey. Overall 86.9% of respondents felt that the proposed hierarchical nature of injuries was appropriate, and 77.8% of respondents agreed that that the risk of neurologic injury is highest in a vertical fracture through the foramen. Almost 80% of respondents felt that the separation of injuries based on the integrity of L5-S1 facet was appropriate, and 83.8% of surgeons agreed that a nondisplaced sacral U fracture is a clinically relevant entity.


This study determines the global perspective on controversial areas in the injury patterns of sacral fractures and demonstrates that the development of a comprehensive and universally accepted sacral classification is possible.

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