Variability in rod to bone distance needed in pelvic subcutaneous internal fixation to avoid nerve compression: A tridimensional population-based study

Kevin Perry, Brad Chauvin, Drayton Daily, Clarence J. Kee, Massimo Max Morandi, R. Shane Barton, Patrick O‘Neal, Bryan Saffell, Cole Dewitt, Luke Cranford, Giovanni F. Solitro

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Introduction: Pelvic internal fixation has become a popular method for treatment of unstable pelvic ring injuries. Although successful, one complication is femoral nerve palsy from compression of the connecting rod. In light of this complication, this study was designed to evaluate sagittal inclinations of the rod and the feasibility of using a rod with a constant curvature. Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that that there is a connection between the sagittal inclination of the rod and the rod to bone distance, as well as single rod can be contoured with a constant curvature to be used in the majority of all patients. Methods: Three dimensional models of pelvis CTs from a single level 1 trauma center were created and imported into a program where software superimposed a pre-contoured rod in the sagittal planes upon the pelvic slices. The sagittal inclination was deemed acceptable is no interference occurred between the area of compression risk and the rod. For each pelvis and considered sagittal rod inclination, the rod radius of curvature (ROC), minimal rod to bone distance (RTB) and transverse inclinations (φL and φR) were measured at which the pedicle screws should be inserted to follow the direction of the smallest RTB. Results: The sagittal inclinations feasible for all subjects were between 15° to 30°. In this sagittal range, the average RTB varied in values ranging from 4.0 ± 0.9 mm to 25.4 ± 11.4 mm (p < 0.01). Only 46% of subjects allowed a rod with constant curvature. Discussion and Conclusion: Our study found that a rod to bone distance of 15 mm was not safe for all models. As well, many subject models did not allow placement of pre-contoured rod. Patient specific templating of pelvic subcutaneous internal fixation is strictly needed to limit complications. Level of evidence: VII; Basic Science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103273
JournalOrthopaedics and Traumatology: Surgery and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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