Seven adult cadaver lumbopelvises were harvested to study the anatomic relationship of the L4 and L5 nerves to S1 dorsal screw placement and the location of the L4, L5, and S1 nerves on plain radiographs. The mean lateral angle of S1 screw trajectory toward the L4 nerve was 31+/-8 degrees, and the mean screw trajectory length was 53+/-8 mm. The mean lateral angle of the screw trajectory toward the L5 nerve was 21+/-8 degrees, and the mean screw trajectory length was 38+/-4 mm. On both inlet and outlet radiographs, the lateral angle of the nerves increased from L4 to S1. The L4 nerve coursed over the middle third of the superior ala in the inlet view and the middle third of the lateral mass in the outlet view. The L5 nerve coursed over the inner third of the superior ala and inner third of the lateral mass. On the lateral view, the mean distances from the sacral promontory to the L4, L5, and S1 nerves along the anterior border of the sacrum were 4+/-7 mm, 12+/-5 mm, and 28+/-8 mm, respectively. This study suggests that S1 sacral screws be directed between 30 degrees and 40 degrees lateral to avoid compromising the lumbosacral trunk and sacroiliac joint.