Risks to the Superior Gluteal Neurovascular Bundle During Iliosacral and Transsacral Screw Fixation: A Computed Tomogram Arteriography Study

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Abstract

Objectives:

Iliosacral (IS) and transsacral (TS) screws are popular techniques to repair complicated injuries to the pelvis. The anatomy of the superior gluteal neurovasculature (SG NV bundle) is well described as running along the posterior ilium, providing innervation and perfusion to important abductor muscles. The method of pelvis fixation least likely to injure the SG NV bundle is unknown.

Methods:

Twenty uninjured patients with a contrasted computed tomogram of the pelvis and lower extremities (CTA) were evaluated. Starting points for an S1 IS screw and S1 and S2 TS screws were estimated on the “ghost” lateral CTA image for those pelvi with safe corridors (>9 mm diameter). The distance from the projected screw to the SG artery was measured. A distance of <3.65 mm (half of a 7.3-mm screw's diameter) was considered likely for NV bundle injury.

Results:

Of 40 pelvi CTAs (single sides), 10 pelvi (25%) were determined to be inappropriate for an S1 TS screw. The average distances from the screw starting point and the artery were 25.3 mm (±9.2) for S1 IS, 12.4 mm (±9.0) for S1 TS, and 23.5 mm (±10.7) for S2 TS screws, respectively. Ten S1 TS screws (25%) and no S1 IS or S2 TS screws were projected to have caused injury to the SG NV bundle (P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

Inserting S1 IS and S2 TS screws put the SG NV anatomy at significantly less risk than S1 TS screws. This information may aid in choosing the “best” fixation option for patients with pelvic ring trauma requiring surgery.

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