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Biomechanical testing of a concept of posterior pelvic reconstruction in rotationally and vertically unstable fractures

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The purpose of this study was to assess the stability of a developmental pelvic reconstruction system which extends the concept of triangular osteosynthesis with fixation anterior to the lumbosacral pivot point. An unstable Tile type-C fracture, associated with a sacral transforaminal fracture, was created in synthetic pelves. The new concept was compared with three other constructs, including bilateral iliosacral screws, a tension band plate and a combined plate with screws. The pubic symphysis was plated in all cases. The pelvic ring was loaded to simulate single-stance posture in a cyclical manner until failure, defined as a displacement of 2 mm or 2°. The screws were the weakest construct, failing with a load of 50 N after 400 cycles, with maximal translation in the craniocaudal axis of 12 mm. A tension band plate resisted greater load but failure occurred at 100 N, with maximal rotational displacement around the mediolateral axis of 2.3°.

The combination of a plate and screws led to an improvement in stability at the 100 N load level, but rotational failure still occurred around the mediolateral axis. The pelvic reconstruction system was the most stable construct, with a maximal displacement of 2.1° of rotation around the mediolateral axis at a load of 500 N.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr O. Berber; e-mail: onurberber@yahoo.co.uk

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