Objective— To detect early screw loosening in triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) and to evaluate the efficacy of retightening using fluoroscopic guidance and minimally invasive surgery to maintain acetabular alignment and achieve bone healing.
Study Design— Prospective clinical study.
Sample Population— Sixteen dogs that had TPO.
Methods— Dogs (16) had TPO (21) by using pre-angled plates secured with 3.5 and 4.0 mm screws, with ischiatic or iliac cerclage, for osteosynthesis. In all but 1 TPO at least 1 screw was inserted into the sacral body (43 screws). The mean radiographic screw length inserted in the sacrum was 10.2 mm, and the mean percent sacral engagement was 22%. Dogs were examined clinically and radiographically immediately postoperatively, and at 10, 30, 60, and 90 days to evaluate screw position. Loose screws were retightened through stab incisions using fluoroscopy to locate the screw.
Results— TPO was performed without operative complications. At 10 days, 12 TPOs (57%; 11 dogs) had loose screws primarily located in the cranial aspect of the plate. This represented 20% (25) of the inserted screws. In 5 dogs, screw loosening resulted in medial rotation of the acetabular segment. All loose screws were retightened; 3 screws loosened again in 2 dogs and were detected at 60 days. However, the osteotomies healed with the planned acetabular rotation without further intervention. Screw tightening corrected the acetabular segment displacement. Screws correctly seated at 10 days did not subsequently loosen. Clinical and radiographic outcome was judged excellent in all dogs.
Conclusion— Loose screws in TPO plates can be identified by 10 days postoperatively and retightened using fluoroscopic guidance to achieve acetabular realignment and healing without need for further surgery.
Clinical Relevance— Postoperative radiographic evaluation of screw position at 10 days after TPO is recommended to detect loose screws. Retightening loose screws should be considered as an alternative to TPO revision or confinement, especially in immature dogs.