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SYMPOSIUM Table of Contents   
Year : 2002  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3
Surgical anatomy of acetabulum

Rajat Hospital, Panitanki, Station Road, Begampura, Surat, India

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How to cite this article:
Patel S S. Surgical anatomy of acetabulum. Indian J Orthop 2002;36:3

How to cite this URL:
Patel S S. Surgical anatomy of acetabulum. Indian J Orthop [serial online] 2002 [cited 2020 Jan 23];36:3. Available from:
The acetabulum, the socket of the hip joint, is cradled between the two columns of an inverted Y. The anterior column is the ilio-pubic column and the posterior column is the ilio-ischial column. To the surgeon, the parts of interest include:

  • The weight-bearing dome of the acetabulum, the anterior and posterior lips, and the columns, which require anatomic restoration.
  • The greater sciatic notch, which transmits important structures like the sciatic nerve and the superior gluteal vessels and nerve, which are at risk during the surgical exposure. [1]
  • The anterior soft tissues like L 5 nerve root in the vicinity of the sacro-iliac joint, the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh, near the anterior superior iliac spine, the femoral nerve and vessels, the obturator nerve and vessels and the spermatic cord in male which need to be exposed in the ilio-inguinal approach
  • The iliac crest, the sciatic buttress, and the ischial tuberosity, which allow anchorage of implants used for fixation. [2]

Radiologically it is important to identify the columns, the lips, the weight bearing dome, the tear drop, the ilio-ischial line and the pelvic brim to differentiate various fracture patterns. [2] It is also important to study the anatomy of various surgical approaches to adequately expose the fracture ends and afford firm fixation. [3]

It is advisable to carry a model of the innominate bone to the operating theatre while performing acetabular surgery as this helps the surgeon in visual orientation.

   References Top

1.Juliano PJ, Bosse MJ, Edwards KJ. The superior gluteal artery in complex acetabular procedures. A cadaveric angiographic study. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 1994; 76-A: 244-248.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Judet R, Judet J, Letournel E. Fractures of the acetabulum - classification and surgical approaches for open reduction: A preliminary report. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 1964; 46-A: 1615 - 1646.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Jimenez ML, Vrahas MS. Surgical approaches to the acetabulum. Orthop Clin North Am 1997; 28(3): 419.  Back to cited text no. 3    

Correspondence Address:
S S Patel
Rajat Hospital, Panitanki, Station Road, Begampura, Surat 395 003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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