The goal of this study was to investigate clinical outcomes and risk factors for the progression of sacroiliac joint (SIJ) degeneration and bone formation after S2 alar-iliac screw (S2AIS) insertion.
Using preoperative and follow-up CT scan findings (median follow-up 26 months, range 16–43 months), the authors retrospectively studied 100 SIJs in 50 patients who underwent S2AIS placement. The authors measured the progression of SIJ degeneration and bone formation after S2AIS insertion, postoperative new-onset SIJ pain, S2AIS-related reoperation, and instrumentation failures. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression modeling was performed to clarify the risk factors associated with the progression of SIJ degeneration.
Significant progression of SIJ degeneration was observed in 10% of the group with preoperative SIJ degeneration (p = 0.01). Bone formation was observed in 6.9% of joints. None of the patients with these radiographic changes had new-onset SIJ pain or underwent reoperation related to instrumentation failures. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that preoperative SIJ degeneration (p < 0.01) and a young age at surgery (p = 0.03) significantly affected the progression of SIJ degeneration.
The progression of SIJ degeneration and bone formation neither led to major screw-related complications nor affected the postoperative clinical course during the median follow-up period of 26 months. Although S2AIS insertion is a safe procedure for most patients, the results of this study suggested that preoperative degeneration and younger age at surgery affected SIJ degeneration after S2AIS insertion. Further long-term observation may reveal other effects of S2AIS insertion on SIJ degeneration.