COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Biomechanical comparison of posterior pelvic ring fixation

Kent Yinger, Jason Scalise, Steven A Olson, Brian K Bay, Christopher G Finkemeier
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 2003, 17 (7): 481-7
12902785

OBJECTIVE: To determine relative stiffness of various methods of posterior pelvic ring internal fixation.

DESIGN: Simulated single leg stance loading of OTA 61-Cl.2, a2 fracture model (unilateral sacroiliac joint disruption and pubic symphysis diastasis).

SETTING: Orthopaedic biomechanic laboratory.

OUTCOME VARIABLES: Pubic symphysis gapping, sacroiliac joint gapping, hemipelvis coronal plane rotation.

METHODS: Nine different posterior pelvic ring fixation methods were tested on each of six hard plastic pelvic models. Pubic symphysis was plated. The pelvic ring was loaded to 1000N.

RESULTS: All data were normalized to values obtained with posterior fixation with a single iliosacral screw. The types of fixation could be grouped into three categories based on relative stiffness of fixation: For sacroiliac joint gapping, group 1-fixation stiffness 0.8 and above (least stiff) includes a single iliosacral screw (conditions A and J), an isolated tension band plate (condition F), and two sacral bars (condition H); group 2-fixation stiffness 0.6 to 0.8 (intermediate stiffness) includes a tension band plate and an iliosacral screw (condition E), one or two sacral bars in combination with an iliosacral screw (conditions G and I); group 3-fixation stiffness 0.6 and below (greatest stiffness) includes two anterior sacroiliac plates (condition D), two iliosacral screws (condition B), and two anterior sacroiliac plates and an iliosacral screw (condition C). For sacroiliac joint rotation, group 1-fixation stiffness 0.8 and above includes a single iliosacral screw (conditions A and J), two anterior sacroiliac plates (condition D), a tension band plate in isolation or in combination with an iliosacral screw (conditions E and F), and two sacral bars (condition H); group 2-fixation stiffness 0.6 to 0.8 (intermediate level of instability) includes either one or two sacral bars in combination with an iliosacral screw (conditions G and I); group 3-fixation stiffness 0.6 and below (stiffest fixation) consists of two iliosacral screws (condition B) and two anterior sacroiliac plates and an iliosacral screw (condition C).

DISCUSSION: Under conditions of maximal instability with similar material properties between specimens, differences in stiffness of posterior pelvic ring fixation can be demonstrated. The choice of which method to use is multifactorial.

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