Background: Although the second (S2) and third (S3) sacral segments have been established as potential osseous fixation pathways for screw fixation, the S2 body has been demonstrated to have inferior bone density when compared to the body of the first (S1) sacral segment. Caution regarding the use of iliosacral screws at this level has been advised as a result. As transiliac–transsacral screws traverse the lateral cortices of the posterior pelvis, they may be relying on bone with superior density for purchase, which could obviate this concern. The objective of this study was to compare the bone density of the posterior ilium and sacroiliac joint to that of the sacral body at the first (S1), second (S2), and third (S3) sacral levels. Materials and methods: A retrospective case series was performed, reviewing the CT scans of 100 patients without prior pelvic trauma. Each CT was confirmed to have available osseous fixation pathways at the first (S1), second (S2), and third (S3) sacral segments. The bone density of the posterior ilium/sacroiliac joint (PISJ) and sacral body (SB) was measured using the embedded standardized Hounsfield units (HU) tool at each sacral level. Results: The average S2 PISJ bone density (320.1) was significantly higher than the S1 (286.5) and S3 (278.9) PISJ (p < 0.0001) and S1 and S3 PISJ was not statistically different. The S1 sacral body bone density (231.1) was significantly higher than the S2 (182.1) and S3 (126.8) bone density (p < 0.0001). The PISJ bone density is greater than the sacral body at every sacral level (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: The S2 PISJ bone density is significantly greater than S1. The S1, S2, and S3 PISJ bone density is greater than the sacral body at all sacral levels, and the S1 body has higher bone density than the S2 and S3 bodies. These differences in bone density may have implications for the stability of posterior pelvic ring fixation constructs with regard to screw purchase. Level of evidence: Level III—Case cohort series.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2020|
- Posterior pelvic ring bone density
- Third sacral segment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine