Reconstruction after total sacrectomy: Early experience with a new surgical technique

Ian D. Dickey, Ronald R. Rugate, Bruno Fuchs, Michael J. Yaszemski, Franklin H. Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Nine patients had sacrectomy with ilio-lumbar arthrodesis for treatment of sacral malignancies at our institution between 2000 and 2004. Five patients had total sacrectomy, three had a sagittal hemisacrectomy, and one had an extended internal hemipelvectomy Type I-S. The average patient age was 39 years. Tumors were Stage IIB in seven patients and Stage IB in two patients. A combined anteroposterior approach was used and a wide surgical margin was attained in all seven patients. A new form of reconstruction using structural fibular grafts and pedicle screw-rod instrumentation was used to create a triangular construct along the anatomic force transmission vectors from the femoral heads to the lumbar spine. The average followup was 18 months. At latest followup, seven patients were alive with no evidence of disease, and two had died from disease. One patient suffered postoperative infection. Independent ambulation was noted in seven patients at last followup. Eight patients had stable reconstructions at latest followup (one patient, who died in December 2004, had a stable reconstruction and was walking with braces and a walker before her death). One patient had instrumentation failure twice and had additional revision instrumentation and bone grafting procedures. She eventually obtained a solid lumbopelvic fusion and walks with Canadian crutches and ankle-foot orthoses. The technique of reconstruction reported here otters promise in dealing with the challenges of reestablishing spinopelvic stability in this difficult anatomic location. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic study, Level IV-1 (case series).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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