Are Routine Postoperative Computer Tomography Scans Warranted for All Patients after Operative Fixation of Pelvic Ring Injuries?

Kevin J. Cronin, Lindsay Hockensmith, Christopher B. Hayes, David Zuelzer, Cale A. Jacobs, Eric S. Moghadamian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective:To evaluate the efficacy of routine postoperative computed topography (CT) scan after percutaneous fixation of unstable pelvic ring injuries.Design:Retrospective chart review.Setting:Level I Trauma Center.Patients/Participants:A total of 362 consecutive patients underwent operative fixation of unstable pelvic ring injuries during the study period.Intervention:Postoperative CT scan of the pelvis was obtained in 331 (91%) of the 362 patients treated operatively for unstable pelvic ring injuries.Main Outcome Measurements:Revision surgery based on routine postoperative CT scan.Results:Two patients (0.55%) returned to the operating room on the basis of postoperative CT scans due to malpositioned implants. There were no significant differences of age, sex, body mass index, Injury Severity Score, mechanism of injury, smoking status, or diabetes status between those who did and did not undergo revision surgery. A dysmorphic pelvis was identified in 154 (47%) patients. Both patients undergoing revision surgery were determined to have a dysmorphic pelvis while no patients with normal pelvic anatomy returned to the operating room based on postoperative CT (2/154, 1.3% vs. 0/177, 0%, P = 0.22).Conclusions:Although there remains a role for postoperative CT scans in the appropriately selected patient, in the hands of experienced orthopaedic traumatologists, patients with adequate intraoperative fluoroscopy and a nondysmorphic pelvis may not require routine postoperative three-dimensional imaging.Level of Evidence:Diagnostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e360-e365
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


  • CT
  • complications
  • iliosacral
  • imaging
  • pelvic ring
  • pelvis
  • postoperative
  • ramus
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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