Superior gluteal artery injury risk from third sacral segment transsacral screw insertion

Jonathan G. Eastman, Quintin A. Kuse, Milton L.Chip Routt, Trevor J. Shelton, Mark R. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Iliosacral (IS) and transsacral (TS) screws are commonly used to stabilize pelvic ring injuries. The course of the superior gluteal artery (SGA) can be close to implant insertion paths. The third sacral segment (S3) has been described as a viable osseous fixation pathway (OFP) but the proximity of the SGA to the S3 screw path is unknown. Methods: Fifty uninjured patients with contrasted pelvic computed tomograms (CTA) were identified with an S3 path large enough for a 7.0 mm TS screw. Starting sites for S1 IS or TS, S2 and S3 TS screws were located on the volume rendered lateral CTA image and transferred onto the surface rendered 3D CTA with the SGA clearly visible. The distance from screw start sites to the SGA was measured. A distance less than 3.5 mm was considered likely for injury. Results: The average distances from screw start sites to the SGA were 23.0 ± 7.9 mm for S1 IS screws, 14.3 ± 6.4 mm for S2 TS screws and 25.9 ± 6.5 mm for S3 TS screws. No S1 IS screws, 5 S2 TS screws (10%), and no S3 TS screws were projected to cause injury to the SGA. Conclusions: The osseous start site and soft tissue path for an S3 TS screw is remote from the SGA. The S1 IS and S3 TS pathways are further away from the SGA while the S2 TS pathway is closer and may theoretically pose a higher injury risk in patients with an available S3 OFP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • S3
  • Superior gluteal artery
  • Third sacral segment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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