Clinical Research

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 469, Issue 11, pp 3209-3217

First online:

A Minimally Invasive Stabilizing System for Dorsal Pelvic Ring Injuries

  • Thomas DienstknechtAffiliated withDepartment of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Regensburg Email author 
  • , Arne BernerAffiliated withDepartment of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Regensburg
  • , Andreas LenichAffiliated withDepartment of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital rechts der Isar
  • , Michael NerlichAffiliated withDepartment of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Regensburg
  • , Bernd FuechtmeierAffiliated withCharité, Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery

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Open reduction and stabilization of dorsal pelvic ring injuries is accompanied by a high rate of soft tissue complications. Minimally invasive techniques have the potential to decrease soft tissue trauma, but the risk of iatrogenic nerve and vessel damage through the reduced surgical exposure should be considered. We treated these injuries using a transiliac internal fixator (TIFI) in a minimally invasive technique characterized by implantation of a pedicle screw and rod system, bridging the sacroiliac joints and the sacral area.


We asked whether (1) we could achieve anatomic restoration with the device, (2) specific complications were associated with this minimally invasive approach (particularly enhanced intraoperative blood loss, soft tissue complications, and iatrogenic neurovascular damage), and (3) function 3 years after trauma was comparable to that of established methods.


We retrospectively reviewed 67 patients with dorsal pelvic injuries during a 7-year period. We evaluated the (1) reduction by grading the maximal displacement measured with three radiographic views, (2) the complications during the observation period, and (3) the function with a validated questionnaire (Pelvic Outcome Score) in all but five patients at least 3 years after trauma (mean, 37 months; range, 36–42 months).


At last followup we observed a secondary fracture displacement greater than 5 mm in one patient. The intraoperative blood loss was less than 50 mL in all patients. No neurovascular lesions occurred owing to implantation. Four patients had wound infections, one had loosening of a single pedicle screw, and one had an iatrogenic screw malpositioning. Thirty-five of the 62 patients achieved Pelvic Outcome Scores of either a maximum score or 6 of 7 points.


Our observations suggest TIFI is a reasonable alternative to other established fixation devices for injuries of the dorsal pelvic ring with minor risks of major blood loss or iatrogenic neurovascular damage.

Level of Evidence

Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.