Open reduction internal fixation of displaced sacral fractures: technique and results

Orthopedics. 2010 Oct 11;33(10):730. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20100826-07.


Pelvic ring disruption with an associated sacral fracture is typically a result of high-energy injury. Due to significant local soft tissue trauma and the complex neurovascular anatomy in the region, exposure and reduction of sacral fractures has proven to be difficult, hazardous, and fraught with complications. We describe a modified reduction technique to address displacement in sacral fractures to show that it can be safe and effective through evaluation of radiographic, clinical, and functional outcomes. We retrospectively reviewed the radiographic and clinical results of consecutive patients treated at a single institution by the senior surgeon (K.F.D.) with open reduction for displaced sacral fractures. Radiographic follow-up was available on all patients. Complete clinical follow-up was available on 19 of 20 patients. The average duration of follow-up was 3.7 years. All fractures united with no additional surgery. There were no infections or additional neurologic deficits or vascular injuries. There was 1 asymptomatic hardware failure 2 years postoperatively with no further displacement. Average preoperative displacement on the anteroposterior (AP) radiograph was 14.72 mm with a long-term follow-up displacement of 3.25 mm. Iowa Pelvic Score questionnaires demonstrated an average score of 92.2. Eighty-nine percent of patients returned to full time work or their previous activity level. The technique of open reduction and fixation of displaced sacral fractures described in this review is safe and effective with a low complication rate and clinical results comparable to or exceeding that of previously published series.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Fracture Healing
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacrum / diagnostic imaging
  • Sacrum / injuries*
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Fractures / rehabilitation
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult