Intraoperative Monitoring with Stimulus-Evoked Electromyography during Placement of Iliosacral Screws. An Initial Clinical Study*

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Abstract

A consecutive series of twenty-seven patients who had thirty acute unstable (type-C) fractures of the pelvic ring was studied prospectively to evaluate the use of stimulus-evoked electromyography to decrease the risk of iatrogenic nerve-root injury during the insertion of iliosacral screws. A prerequisite for inclusion in the study was a normal neurological status preoperatively; somatosensory evoked potentials were monitored to further document the neurological status both before and after insertion of the screw or screws. A total of fifty-one iliosacral screws were inserted, and a current threshold of more than eight milliamperes was selected as the level that indicated that the drill-bit was a safe distance from the nerve root. Four of the fifty-one screws were redirected because of information obtained with stimulus-evoked electromyography.Postoperatively, all patients had a normal neurological status. Computerized tomography, although not accurate for detailed measurements, demonstrated that all of the screws were in a safe, intraosseous position. Monitoring with stimulus-evoked electromyography appears to provide reliable data and may decrease the risk of iatrogenic injury to the nerve roots during operations on the pelvic ring.

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