A Simple Mathematical Model of Sacroiliac Screws Safe-Zone - Easy to Implement by Pelvic Inlet and Outlet Views


Amir Herman 1 Emily Keener 2 Candice Dubose 2 Jason Lowe 2
1Department of Orthopaedics, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat-Gan, Israel
2Department of Orthopaedics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, USA

Background: Percutaneous sacral screw fixation is the mainstay of posterior pelvic ring fixation. This study quantifies the accuracy of fluoroscopic screw placement using post-operative CT scans and redefines the fluoroscopic safe zone using a mathematical calculation obtained from Inlet and outlet images. The authors hypothesized that a mathematical calculation of screw placement within the ala will improve accuracy of screw placement.

Methods: A retrospective review of consecutive patients admitted to a level 1 trauma center with pelvic fractures fixed with iliosacral screws from January 2011 to December 2014 was performed. Accuracy of screw placement was determined by comparing fluoroscopy to post-operative CT scans. A mathematical calculation of screw position within the sacral ala was applied to determine assess screw position and compared to CT findings.

Results: 94 patients with 156 screws met inclusion criteria, of which 50 (32.0%) had a cortical breech on CT. The sensitivity and specificity of the inlet-outlet safe zone using mathematical calculation were 97.1% and 84.0%, respectively. The positive and negative predictive values were 92.7% and 93.3%, respectively. Overall accuracies of the radiographic inlet-outlet and lateral safe zones were 92.9% and 70.0%, respectively (p value=0.004). Sacral dysmorphism was not found to be associated with sacral cortical breech.

Conclusions: A simple mathematical calculation (screw position relative to percentage of bone width) on the inlet-outlet provides an accurate way to predict the accuracy of sacroiliac screws. The method is easy to implement, part of the surgery work-flow, and provides higher accuracy than relying on subjective interpretation of inlet, outlet, and lateral images.