A modified extensile exposure for the treatment of complex or malunited acetabular fractures

C. M. Reinert, M. J. Bosse, A. Poka, T. Schacherer, R. J. Brumback, A. R. Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


A modification of the extended iliofemoral incision of Letournel and Judet facilitates the operative exposure of T-type, complex transverse, and both-column acetabular fractures and malunions. The modification includes the utilization of a T-shaped skin incision with large flaps, and osteotomies of the iliac crest, greater trochanter, and anterior superior iliac spine. The iliotibial band is transected and the abductor muscle mass is rotated posteriorly, hinged on the superior gluteal neurovascular bundle. Twenty patients had open reduction and internal fixation of a complex acetabular fracture using this surgical approach. Excellent surgical exposure allowed good or excellent reduction of the acetabulum in all patients. No flap necrosis developed, and all fractures healed. One non-union of a trochanteric osteotomy needed revision. This approach provides increased exposure of the posterior column and visualization of the entire surface of the joint and it allows fixation of the fracture from both sides of the iliac wing. The T-shaped skin incision allows utilization of a standard posterior approach with conversion to the extensile exposure if necessary. Options for late reconstruction are not compromised. Lag-screw fixation of the osteotomies allows aggressive rehabilitation of the joint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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