Preoperative templating is essential for understanding the complexity of acetabular fractures. Traditional drawing of fracture lines on paper using standard templating x-rays is difficult for the 3-D anatomy of acetabular fractures.
A better understanding of the fracture may be achieved by drawing fracture lines on a “saw bone” pelvic model. Definitive plate fixation can also be prebent using a saw bone model and then sterilized to use intraoperatively, although this is rarely performed and some prebent plates are now available. Saw bone models can be taken to the operating room, and even used intraoperatively by placing them in a sterile plastic bag to allow for intraoperative assessment of the preoperative plan.