2D versus 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation in posterior pelvic fixation: review of the literature on current technology

Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2017 Jan;12(1):69-76. doi: 10.1007/s11548-016-1465-5. Epub 2016 Aug 8.


Purpose: Percutaneous sacroiliac (SI) fixation of unstable posterior pelvic ring injuries is a widely accepted procedure. The complex sacral anatomy with narrow osseous corridors for SI screw placement makes this procedure technically challenging. Techniques are constantly evolving as a result of better understanding of the posterior pelvic anatomy. Recently developed tools include fluoroscopy-based computer-assisted navigation, which can be two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D). Our goal is to determine the relevant technical considerations and clinical outcomes associated with these modalities by reviewing the published research. We hypothesize that 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation is safer and superior to its 2D predecessor with respect to lower radiation dose and more accurate SI screw placement.

Methods: We searched four medical databases to identify English-language studies of 2D and 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation from January 1990 through August 2015. We included articles reporting imaging techniques and outcomes of closed posterior pelvic ring fixation with percutaneous SI screw fixation. Injuries included in the study were sacral fractures (52 patients), sacroiliac fractures (88 patients), lateral compression fractures (20 patients), and anteroposterior compression type pelvic fractures (8 patients). We excluded articles on open reduction of posterior pelvic ring injuries and solely anatomic studies. We then reviewed these studies for technical considerations and outcomes associated with these technologies.

Results: Six studies were included in our analysis. Results of these studies indicate that 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation is associated with a lower radiation dose and lower rate of screw malpositioning compared with 2D fluoroscopy-based systems.

Conclusions: It may be advantageous to combine modern imaging modalities such as 3D fluoroscopy with computer-assisted navigation for percutaneous screw fixation in the posterior pelvis.

Keywords: 2D fluoroscopy-based navigation; 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation; Computed tomography; Pelvic ring injuries; Sacroiliac screw fixation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Screws
  • Fluoroscopy / methods*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Fractures, Compression / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Compression / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Pelvic Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries
  • Pelvic Bones / surgery*
  • Sacrum / diagnostic imaging
  • Sacrum / injuries
  • Sacrum / surgery*
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods