Use of Spring Plates in Fixation of Comminuted Posterior Wall Acetabular Fractures

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Abstract

Objectives:

Surgical management of comminuted posterior wall acetabular fractures with marginal fragments remains difficult. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of spring plates as adjunctive fixation in comminuted posterior wall acetabular fractures.

Methods:

A retrospective review of patients treated for posterior wall acetabular fractures with the use of customized spring plates as adjunctive fixation between 2000 and 2017 was performed. Patients were evaluated radiographically according to the grading criteria of Matta. Complications including subsequent revision surgery and hardware failure were recorded.

Results:

Fifty-two patients underwent surgical fixation of posterior wall acetabular fractures with the use of customized 3.5-mm spring plates combined with posterior buttress compression plating over the spring plates as definitive fixation. Mean follow-up was 13.9 months (range: 3–140 months). Forty-two patients had radiographic grades of excellent, with 6 good, 1 fair, and 3 poor. There were no hardware complications. Five patients underwent revision surgery, including 4 patients (7.7%) who underwent a total hip arthroplasty due to advanced arthritis.

Conclusions:

The use of customized spring plates is a viable method of adjunctive fixation for comminuted posterior wall fractures with marginal fragmentation.

Level of Evidence:

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

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