Exposure of the superior gluteal neurovascular bundle for the safe application of acetabular reinforcement cages in complex revisions

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The posterior approach to the hip is the most common extensile approach used, however exposure is limited superiorly by the superior gluteal neurovascular bundle (SGNB). The extra-pelvic course of the SGNB demonstrates variability between individuals, occasionally located only 1 cm from the acetabular rim. In complex acetabular reconstructions where the application of a reinforcement cage maybe required protecting the SGNB is challenging. The flanges of these cages are designed to sit on the ilium superior to the acetabular rim and to receive screws for fixation. The application of such cages may result in iatrogenic injury to the SGNB by way of forceful retraction or entrapment. We describe a technique that involves exposure and release of the SGNB such that the flanges of cage constructs may be safely applied.

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