Preliminary experience using S1–alar iliac fixation with navigation

J Neurosurg Spine 35:774–779, 2021

Traditional iliac screws and S2–alar iliac (S2-AI) screws are common methods used for pelvic fixation, and many surgeons advocate pelvic fixation for long-segment fixation to the sacrum. However, in patients without severe deformities and only degenerative conditions, many surgeons may choose S1 screws only. Moreover, even with S2-AI screws, there is more muscular dissection than with using S1 screws, and the rod connection can be cumbersome in both S2-AI fixation and placing iliac screws.

Using a surgical video, artist’s illustration, and intraoperative photographs, the authors describe the S1-AI screw fixation technique that allows for single-screw sacral and iliac fixation, requires less distal dissection of the sacrum, allows for easier rod connection, and may be an option in degenerative conditions needing pelvic fixation.

However, this is a preliminary feasibility study, and in long fusion constructs, this type of fixation has only been used in conjunction with L5–S1 anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), and there are no long-term data on the use of this screw fixation technique without ALIF. In short-segment revision fusions, this technique may be considered for salvage in cases of large halos in the sacrum from loosened S1 screw fixation.