Paper| Volume 28, ISSUE 7, P469-475, September 1997

The unstable iliac fracture: a biomechanical evaluation of internal fixation

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      Neither plating nor lag screw fixation of a displaced iliac wing fracture as part of an unstable pelvic ring disruption has been studied biomechanically. The purpose of this study was to compare the stability of various combinations of fixation, specifically contrasting lag screws placed between the tables of the ilium with plating in different locations across the fracture line. Various combinations of these fixation implants were evaluated for an unstable iliac fracture. A longitudinal iliac fracture was created in each of six hemi-pelvic specimens prior to testing. Compressive force, up to 500 N or to the magnitude necessary to displace the fracture 2mm, was applied to the fracture line through the hemi-pelvis for each of the plate and lag screw combinations tested. There was no statistical difference between any of the implants or combinations tested. A single 3.5-mm reconstruction (cephalad) plate placed along the cephalad internal aspect of the iliac crest provided the least stability allowing 2 mm of displacement with a mean load of 80N. The two combinations of fixation that required the greatest loads for 2 mm of displacement were a single 3.5-mm lag (cephalad) screw inserted into the iliac crest between the tables of the ilium coupled with either a 3.5-mm reconstruction (brim) plate placed along the internal aspect of the inferior iliac fossa at the pelvic brim (239 N) or a 4.5-mm lag (brim) screw between the inner and outer tables at the inferior aspect of the fracture just above the greater sciatic nothch (225 N).
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