Biomechanical comparison of sacroiliac screw techniques for unstable pelvic ring fractures

C M A van Zwienen, E W van den Bosch, C J Snijders, G J Kleinrensink, A B van Vugt
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 2004, 18 (9): 589-95

OBJECTIVE: To determine the stiffness and strength of various sacroiliac screw fixations to compare different sacroiliac screw techniques.

DESIGN: Randomized comparative study on embalmed human pelvises.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 12 specimens, we created a symphysiolysis and sacral fractures on both sides. Each of these 24 sacral fractures was fixed with 1 of the following methods: 1 sacroiliac screw in the vertebral body of S1, 2 screws convergingly in S1, or 1 screw in S1 and 1 in S2. On the left and right side of a pelvis, different techniques were used. The pubic symphysis was not stabilized. We measured the translation and rotation stiffness of the fixations and the load to failure using a 3-dimensional video system.

RESULTS: The stiffness of the intact posterior pelvic ring was superior to any screw technique. Significant differences were found for the load to failure and rotation stiffness between the techniques with 2 screws and a single screw in S1. The techniques utilizing 2 screws showed no differences.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the results of this study, we can conclude that a second sacroiliac screw in completely unstable pelvic fractures increases rotation stiffness and improves the load to failure.

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