Freehand pedicle screw fixation: A safe recipe for dorsal, lumbar and sacral spine

Freehand pedicle screw fixation

Keywords: Freehand technique, Pedicle screw fixation, Spinal fracture


Objective: To determine outcome of freehand pedicle screw fixation for dorsal, lumbar and sacral fractures at a tertiary care centre in the developing world.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 150 consecutive patients who underwent pedicle screw fixation from January 1, 2012 to 31st December 2017. A total of 751 pedicle screws were placed. Incidence and extent of cortical breach by misplaced pedicle screw was determined by review of intra-operative and post-operative radiographs and/or computed tomography.

Results: Among the total 751 free hand placed pedicle screws, four screws (0.53%) were repositioned due to a misdirected trajectory towards the disc space. six screws (0.79%) were identified to have cause moderate breach while four screws (0.53%) cause severe breach. There was no occurrence of iatrogenic nerve root damage or violation of the spinal canal.

Conclusion: Free hand pedicle screw placement based on external landmarks showed remarkable safety and accuracy in our center. The authors conclude that assiduous adherence to technique and preoperative planning is vital to success.


How to cite this:
Junaid M, Afzal A, Kalsoom A, Bukhari SS. Freehand pedicle screw fixation: A safe recipe for dorsal, lumbar and sacral spine. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(3):680-684. doi:

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