, Volume 133, Issue 6, pp 773-780
Date: 10 Apr 2013

The use of a structural free iliac crest autograft for the treatment of acetabular fractures

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Bone and cartilage deficits in the posterior acetabular wall are severe complications resulting from the unsuccessful management or delayed treatment of acetabular fracture. This potentially disastrous condition cannot be treated reliably with the use of reconstruction plates and screws alone. Therefore, this technical report describes a modified anatomical reconstruction method that uses a structural iliac crest autograft and an acetabular tridimensional memory alloy fixation system (ATMFS) to treat late-stage deficits in the posterior wall of the acetabulum. This paper also describes a clinical study of 22 patients with an average of 6.3 years follow-up to evaluate the clinical outcomes of this method.


Twenty-two patients, who had an acetabular reconstruction between January 2000 and December 2011 that used a structured free iliac crest autograft to treat late-stage bone and cartilage deficits in the posterior acetabular wall were followed annually with clinical and radiographic evaluations. The average age of the patients was 36.4 years at the time of the procedure, and the average time of follow-up was 6.3 years.


None of the patients in this study lost reduction after surgery, and there were no cases of implant failure. Radiographic analysis using Matta’s X-ray evaluation criteria were excellent in eleven cases, good in eight, and fair on three. The Merle D’Aubigné and Postel clinical outcomes at the final follow-up were as follows: seven cases were excellent, ten cases were good, three cases were fair and two cases were poor.


The use of a modified iliac crest grafting and ATMFS fixation, as a biological method to reconstruct the acetabulum anatomically may offer better congruence of the joint surface and may ensure good hip joint stability during early postoperative exercise. The medium to long-term results of this method are encouraging.