Open Reduction and Internal Fixation of Acetabular Fractures Using the Modified Stoppa Approach.

Tannast, Moritz; Keel, Marius J.; Siebenrock, Klaus-Arno; Bastian, Johannes (2019). Open Reduction and Internal Fixation of Acetabular Fractures Using the Modified Stoppa Approach. JBJS essential surgical techniques, 9(1), e3. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 10.2106/JBJS.ST.18.00034

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The modified Stoppa approach is performed for safe and efficient management of acetabular fractures involving the anterior column. This approach avoids dissection of the inguinal canal, the femoral nerve, and the external iliac vessels as seen in the "second window" of the ilioinguinal approach and has thus been shown to be less invasive than the ilioinguinal approach1. As an intrapelvic approach, it facilitates the management of medial displacement fracture patterns involving the quadrilateral plate and dome impaction that typically occur in the elderly2,3. The reduced morbidity of this approach is of particular relevance for elderly patients who must respond to the stresses of injury and surgery with diminished physiological reserves.


The specific surgical steps include preoperative planning, patient positioning and setup, a Pfannenstiel incision, superficial and deep dissection, development of the Retzius space and retraction of the bladder, exposure of the superior pubic ramus and iliopectineal eminence, dissection and ligation of a potential corona mortis, exposure of the obturator nerve and vessels, subperiosteal preparation of the pubic ramus with retraction of the external iliac vessels, subperiosteal exposure of the quadrilateral plate with detachment of the internal obturator muscle and exposure of the posterior column, assessment of residual displacement by fluoroscopic views, longitudinal soft-tissue or lateral skeletal traction (optional) for reduction of medial displacement of the femoral head, disimpaction of the acetabular dome fragment and grafting of the supra-acetabular void (optional) under fluoroscopic and arthroscopic (optional) control, and reduction and fixation of extra-articular components (iliac wing posteriorly and pubic ramus anteriorly), the posterior column (infra-acetabular screw), and the quadrilateral plate (buttress plate). Before wound closure, the urine output is checked for occurrence of hematuria, an indication of bladder penetration. The anterior lamina of the rectus sheath is then sutured, and a layered closure performed.


The ilioinguinal approach might be used instead.


The modified Stoppa approach avoids dissection within the inguinal canal, the second window of the ilioinguinal approach. Therefore, this approach is less invasive and might be an alternative for joint-preserving surgery, especially in the elderly.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Tannast, Moritz; Keel, Marius; Siebenrock, Klaus-Arno and Bastian, Johannes Dominik


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Lippincott Williams and Wilkins




Kathrin Aeschlimann

Date Deposited:

30 Oct 2019 14:51

Last Modified:

30 Oct 2019 14:51

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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