JOURNAL ARTICLE

CT-based 3-D visualisation of secure bone corridors and optimal trajectories for sacroiliac screws

Thomas Mendel, Florian Radetzki, David Wohlrab, Karsten Stock, Gunther Olaf Hofmann, Hansrudi Noser
Injury 2013, 44 (7): 957-63
23246561
Sacroiliac screw (SI) fixation represents the only minimally invasive method to stabilise unstable injuries of the posterior pelvic ring. However, it is technically demanding. The narrow sacral proportions and a high inter-individual shape variability places adjacent neurovascular structures at potential risk. In this study a CT-based virtual analysis of the iliosacral anatomy in the human pelvis was performed to visualise and analyse 3-D bone corridors for the safe placement of SI-screws in the first sacral segment. Computer-aided calculation of 3-D transverse and general SI-corridors as a sum of all inner-bony 7.3-mm screw positions was done with custom-made software algorithms based on CT-scans of intact human pelvises. Radiomorphometric analysis of 11 CT-DICOM datasets using the software Amira 4.2. Optimal screw tracks allowing the greatest safety distance to the cortex were computed. Corridor geometry and optimal tracks were visualised; measurement data were calculated. A transverse corridor existed in 10 pelvises. In one dysmorphic pelvis, the pedicular height at the level of the 1st neural foramina came below the critical distance of 7.3mm defined by the outer screw diameter. The mean corridor volume was 45.2 cm3, with a length of 14.9cm. The oval cross-section measured 2.8 cm2. The diameter of the optimal screw pathway with the greatest safety distance was 14.2mm. A double cone-shaped general corridor for screw penetration up to the centre of the S1-body was calculated bilaterally for every pelvis. The mean volume was 120.6 cm3 for the left side and 115.8 cm3 for the right side. The iliac entry area measured 49.1 versus 46.0 cm2. Optimal screw tracks were calculated in terms of projected inlet and outlet angles. Multiple optimal screw positions existed for each pelvis. The described method allows an automated 3-D analysis with regard to secure SI-screw corridors even with a high number of CT-datasets. Corridor visualisation and calculation of optimal screw tracks trains the visual thinking of the surgeon and can improve pre-operative planning. Prospectively, the introduced method can be implemented in computer-assisted surgery applications involving pelvic trauma.

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