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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 245-252

Trans-iliac-sacral-iliac-bar procedure to treat insufficiency fractures of the sacrum

1 Department of Traumatology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
2 Department of Radiology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium

Correspondence Address:
P Vanderschot
Clinical Head, Department of Traumatology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.53454

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Background: Osteoporosis is an increasing problem attributed to the greater longevity of the population and the incidence of fractures related to osteoporosis. The presence of osteoporotic bone, comorbidities, and functional status of the patient require adequate solutions to improve the clinical outcome of sacral insufficiency fractures. Conservative treatment by means of prolonged bed rest and analgesics are associated with increased risks and complications. A sacroplasty significantly improves the functional outcome. We describe the trans-iliac-sacral-iliac-bar (TISIB) procedure and our clinical experience to treat insufficiency fractures of the sacrum. Materials and Methods: The records of 19 consecutive patients with a mean age of 71.7 years (range: 57-82 years) who had been managed with a TISIB procedure from 2005 till 2007 were reviewed retrospectively. There were 15 females and 4 males. Predisposing factors for sacral insufficiency fractures were osteoporosis (n = 12, 63%), radiotherapy (n = 6, 32%), and rheumatoid arthritis (n =1). Diagnosis with a mean delay of 3.7 months was mainly made by CT. All patients were preoperatively and at follow-up assessed by means of the visual analogue score (VAS), analgesic consumption, and the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) using a 5-point pain scale: 1, without pain; 2, mild pain; 3, moderate pain; 4, severe pain and, 5 unable to perform ADLs because of pain. Results: The average duration of postoperative follow-up was 9 months (range: 3-24.5 months). No neurological complications occurred during the surgery. A postoperative radiographic study showed a well-positioned bar in every case. The mean VAS improved 44.7 mm (preoperative: 67.8; at follow-up: 23.2). Fifteen patients (79%) consumed narcotic analgesics before surgery, and only one (5%) at follow-up; two patients (10%) consumed NSAIDS before surgery and three (15%) after. Two patients (10%) consumed minor analgesics before, and 11 (58%) after the procedure. Finally, four patients (21%) were not taking any analgesics at follow-up. Before surgery, 9 patients (47%) were able to perform ADLs with a pain score of 4; 6 (32%) with a score of 3, and 4 (21%) a score of 2. At follow-up 1 (5%) did have a score of 4; 1 (5%) a score of 3, 8 (42%) a score of 2 and 9 (47%) a pain score of 1. Conclusion: A TISIB procedure relies on the principles of fracture treatment: fracture stabilisation and compression. The incapacitating problem of an insufficiency fracture of the sacrum can be elegantly solved by means of this minimally invasive procedure. A near-immediate improvement is noticed when looking at the VAS score, analgesics consumption, and the ability to perform ADLs.

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