A Useful Tool for Retained Washer Retrieval When Removing Iliosacral Screws


Iliosacral screw removal is occasionally necessary during index or revision pelvic ring surgery. This procedure can necessitate a two-step process: screw removal followed by retained washer removal. On attempted removal of the screw–washer complex, the washer will not uncommonly dissociate itself from the screw. Its retrieval can be challenging, add unnecessary operative time, and result in larger incisions and increased soft tissue disruptions. This article introduces a simple technique for retained washer retrieval when removing or exchanging iliosacral screws. This technique involves an ‘‘interference fit’’ between the retained washer and a screw or tap of larger diameter, allowing for reliable and simple washer extraction. Advantages of this technique include removal through the same soft tissue tract as initial screw insertion and subsequent screw removal. It also obviates the need for introduction of various clamps to extract the washer, which can result in soft tissue injury and increased reliance on fluoroscopy. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 22(4):330–332, 2013)

SKU: JSOA-2013-22-4-W15 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

Maxwell K. Langfitt, MD; Benjamin J. Best, DO; and Eben A. Carroll, MD