Clinical application of the anterior pelvic wall locking plate (APWLP) in acetabular fractures involving the quadrilateral surface

J Orthop Surg Res. 2023 Jan 31;18(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s13018-022-03392-y.


Background: The management of acetabular quadrilateral surface fractures remains challenging for surgeons, and the treatment options for such fractures remain controversial. Quadrilateral surface surgery is a complex procedure involving combined approaches, and the quality of fracture reduction closely depends upon the surgical procedure, as well as the skill and experience of the surgeon. This study aimed to explore the clinical effects of applying an anterior pelvic wall locking plate (APWLP) through the lateral-rectus approach for treating acetabular fractures involving the quadrilateral surface.

Methods: This retrospective analysis was comprised of 35 patients with acetabular fractures involving the quadrilateral surface who were treated with an APWLP in our hospital between June 2016 and December 2020. The patients included 25 males and ten females, with an average age of 52.45 years. All the patients were exposed through the lateral-rectus approach, six patients were exposed with an additional iliac fossa approach, and the fractures were fixed by combining an APWLP with a reconstruction plate. The Matta imaging standard was used to assess the quality of the fracture reduction, and the final follow-up clinical outcome was classified as excellent (18 points), good (15-17), fair (13-14), or poor (< 13) according to the modified Merle d'Aubigné-Postel scoring standard.

Results: All patients successfully completed the operation, and there was no blood vessel or nerve injury during any of the operations. The average follow-up period was 26.11 months. The mean time of resuming full-weight-bearing activities was 12.88 weeks. Hip flexion and extension and internal and external rotation ranges of motion significantly increased over time. At the last follow-up, Matta's imaging evaluation showed that 24 cases were anatomically reduced, seven cases were satisfactory, and four cases were unsatisfactory. The satisfaction rate was 88.6% (31/35). According to the modified Merle d'Aubigné-Postel scoring standard, the hip function was excellent, good, fair, and poor in 23, 6, 4, and 2 cases, respectively. The excellent and good rates represented 82.9% of the total cases (29/35).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the APWLP for acetabulum quadrilateral surface fracture achieve good to excellent clinical and radiological outcomes, and an APWLP may be a new treatment option for these fractures involving the quadrilateral surface.

Keywords: Acetabular fracture; Lateral rectus; Quadrilateral surface.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hip Fractures*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotation
  • Spinal Fractures*