BACKGROUND: Iliac screw fixation is a powerful tool used by spine surgeons to achieve fusion across the lumbosacral junction for a number of indications, including deformity, tumor, and pseudarthrosis. Complications associated with screw placement are related to blind trajectory selection and excessive soft tissue dissection.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the technique of iliac screw fixation using computed tomographic (CT)-based image guidance.
METHODS: Intraoperative registration and verification of anatomic landmarks are performed with the use of a preoperatively acquired CT of the lumbosacral spine. With the navigation probe, the ideal starting point for screw placement is selected while visualizing the intended trajectory and target on a computer screen. Once the starting point is selected and marked with a burr, a drill guide is docked within this point and the navigation probe re-inserted, confirming the trajectory. The probe is then removed and the high-speed drill reinserted within the drill guide. Drilling is performed to a depth measured on the computer screen and a screw is placed.
RESULTS: Confirmation of accurate placement of iliac screws can be performed with standard radiographs.
CONCLUSION: CT-guided navigation allows for 3-dimensional visualization of the pelvis and minimizes complications associated with soft-tissue dissection and breach of the ilium during screw placement.