Outcomes of lumbopelvic fixation in the treatment of complex sacral fractures using minimally invasive surgical techniques

Ehsan Jazini, Tristan Weir, Emeka Nwodim, Oliver Tannous, Comron Saifi, Nicholas Caffes, Timothy Costales, Eugene Koh, Kelley Banagan, Daniel Gelb, Steven C. Ludwig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background Context Complex sacral fractures with vertical and anterior pelvic ring instability treated with traditional fixation methods are associated with high rates of failure and poor clinical outcomes. Supplemental lumbopelvic fixation (LPF) has been applied for additional stability to help with fracture union. Purpose The study aimed to determine whether minimally invasive LPF provides reliable fracture stability and acceptable complication rates in cases of complex sacral fractures. Study Design/Setting This is a retrospective cohort study at a single level I trauma center. Patient Sample The sample includes 24 patients who underwent minimally invasive LPF for complex sacral fracture with or without associated pelvic ring injury. Outcome Measures Reoperation for all causes, loss of fixation, surgical time, transfusion requirements, length of hospital stay, postoperative day at mobilization, and mortality were evaluated. Methods Patient charts from 2008 to 2014 were reviewed. Of the 32 patients who underwent minimally invasive LPF for complex sacral fractures, 24 (12 male, 12 female) met all inclusion and exclusion criteria. Outcome measures were assessed with a retrospective chart review and radiographic review. The authors did not receive external funding for this study. Results Acute reoperation was 12%, and elective reoperation was 29%. Two (8%) patients returned to the operating room for infection, one (4.2%) required revision for instrumentation malposition, and seven (29%) underwent elective removal of instrumentation. No patient experienced failure of instrumentation or loss of correction. Average surgical time was 3.6 hours, blood loss was 180 mL, transfusion requirement was 2.1 units of packed red blood cells, and postoperative mobilization was on postoperative day 5. No mortalities occurred as a result of the minimally invasive LPF procedure. Conclusions Compared with historic reports of open LPF, our results demonstrate reliable maintenance of reduction and acceptable complication rates with minimally invasive LPF for complexsacral fractures. The benefits of minimally invasive LPF may be offset with increased elective reoperations for removal of instrumentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1238-1246
Number of pages9
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Complications
  • Lumbopelvic fixation
  • Minimally invasive
  • Outcomes
  • Pelvic ring
  • Sacral fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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