To evaluate radiological and functional outcome in patients treated with minimally invasive transiliac plate osteosynthesis for unstable pelvic injuries.

Retrospective analysis of a prospective treatment protocol in a consecutive patient series.

Level 1 trauma center.

Between January 1998 and December 2005, 31 patients with type C injuries of the pelvic ring were treated with minimally invasive transiliac plate osteosynthesis. According to the AO classification, 16 patients had a C1-injury, 9 had a C2 fracture, and 6 patients sustained a C3 injury of the pelvic ring. Anterior-posterior, inlet, and outlet radiographs were obtained preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and during follow-up. Clinical outcome was determined according to the Hannover pelvic outcome score.

Posterior plate osteosynthesis for type C injuries of the pelvic ring.

Preoperative and postoperative dislocation of the posterior pelvic ring, loss of reduction, implant failure, implant removal, clinical results of the pelvic injury and general limitations following the trauma.

Maximum average dislocation of the posterior pelvic ring was 16.1 mm preoperatively; postoperatively, it was 6.1 mm. A total of 23 patients (74.2%) could be followed up after an average of 20 months (range 7-57 months). Seven patients underwent follow-up treatment at other hospitals closer to their respective residences, whereas 1 patient passed away in the early postoperative phase due to multiorgan failure. Loss of reduction occurred in 2 cases. The clinical outcome regarding the pelvis was very good in 8 cases, good in 9 cases, fair in 4 cases, and poor in 2 cases. Social reintegration according to the Hannover pelvic outcome score was complete in 9 cases, poor in 10 cases, and incomplete in 10 cases.

Posterior plate osteosynthesis is a sufficiently stable method for the treatment of unstable pelvic ring injuries with a low risk of iatrogenic nervous tissue and vascular lesions. The disadvantages are limited reduction possibilities, the necessity of bilateral bridging of the sacroiliac joint in a unilateral injury, as well as a higher rate of symptomatic hardware.