Midterm Radiographic and Functional Outcomes of the Anterior Subcutaneous Internal Pelvic Fixator (INFIX) for Pelvic Ring Injuries

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe our experience using the anterior internal pelvic fixator (INFIX) for treating pelvic ring injuries.

Design:

Case Series.

Setting:

Level 1 Trauma Center.

Patients:

Eighty-three patients with pelvic ring injuries were treated with INFIX. Follow-up average was 35 months (range 12–80.33).

Intervention:

Surgical treatment of pelvic ring injuries included reduction, appropriate posterior fixation, and INFIX placement.

Outcome Measurements:

Reduction using the pelvic deformity index and pubic symphysis widening, Majeed functional scores, complications; infection, implant failure, heterotopic ossification (HO), nerve injury, and pain.

Results:

All patients healed in an appropriate time frame (full weight bearing 12 weeks postoperation). The average pelvic deformity index reduction (injury = 0.0420 ± 0.0412, latest FU = 0.0254 ± 0.0243) was 39.58%. The average reduction of pubic symphysis injuries was 56.92%. The average Majeed score of patients at latest follow-up was 78.77 (range 47–100). Complications were 3 infections, 1 case of implant failure, 2 cases implantation too deep, 7 cases of lateral femoral cutaneous nerve irritation, and 3 cases of pain associated with the device. HO was seen in >50% of the patients, correlated with increased age (P < 0.007), injury severity score (P < 0.05) but only 1 case was symptomatic.

Conclusions:

The pelvic injuries had good functional and radiological outcomes with INFIX and the appropriate posterior fixation. The downside is removal requiring a second anesthetic, there is a learning curve, HO often occurs, the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve may get irritated which often resolves once the implants are removed. Surgery-specific implants need to be developed.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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