Reconstruction of the pelvic brim and its role in the reduction accuracy of displaced T-shaped acetabular fracture

T Harnroongroj, A Asavamongkolkul, K Chareancholvanich
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 2000, 83 (5): 483-93
Open reduction of the displaced T-shaped acetabular fracture has a problem of accuracy of the fracture reduction. This study was carried out to demonstrate that the reconstruction of the pelvic brim by approaching the pubo-acetabular fragment plays a role in the accuracy of the reduction of displaced T-shaped acetabular fractures. From 1975 to 1990, a retrospective study was carried out of 22 patients who sustained a displaced T-shaped acetabular fracture. The patients were operated on by open reduction and internal fixation of the ischio-acetabular fragment to the posterior column without restoration of the pelvic brim. Radiographs of the pelvis were reviewed. The result showed that there was displacement of the pubo-acetabular fragment including the medial wall in all cases. As the result of this study, a prospective study between 1990 and 1997 was carried out of 15 patients who sustained displaced T-shaped acetabular fractures including 3 cases with medial displacement of the femoral head. The pubo-acetabular fragment was anatomically reduced and fixed to the anterior column of the acetabulumn as the first approach to restore a disrupted pelvic brim. There, patterns of the acetabular fracture were subsequently re-evaluated especially the ischio-acetabular fragment including the position of the femoral head by using an intraoperative portable X-ray technique. The stability of the hip joint was assessed by hip flexion. The intraoperative radiograph appearances of the ischio-acetabular fragment were visually confirmed by a second surgical exposure. The results showed that the intraoperative radiographs gave spontaneous reduction of the ischio-acetabular fragment in all patients except one. There was a reduction of the displaced femoral head into the hip socket in the three patients. The hip joints were stable in all patients. The second surgical exposure showed that there was good spontaneous reduction of the ischio-acetabular fragment to the posterior column by ligamentotaxis in 14 patients. Therefore, it is not necessary to address the ischio-acetabular fragment. In the exceptional case, the ischio-acetabular fragment was displaced as a free bone which could not be reduced by ligamentotaxis. However, reduction and internal fixation of the ischio-acetabular fragment to the posterior column for complete re-application of the hip joint onto the pelvic ring of this case was facilitated. Postoperative 2 year and 5 year follow-up showed that the fracture had healed without heterotrophic ossification or premature osteoarthrosis of the hip joint. The exceptional case had a broken plate at the anterior column of the acetabulum. Hip function was evaluated clinically using Merle D' Aubigne's hip score. All patients had a "very good score". The study showed that reconstruction of the pelvic brim by anatomical reduction and fixation of the pubo-acetabular fragment to the anterior column plays an important role in the accuracy of fracture reduction of a displaced T-shaped acetabular fracture.

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