How I do it: tapered rod placement across the cervicothoracic junction for augmented posterior constructs

  • William CliftonEmail author
  • Aaron Damon
  • Mark Pichelmann
How I Do it - Neurosurgical technique evaluation
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Neurosurgical technique evaluation



Posterior instrumentation techniques are commonly employed for cervicothoracic fixation. The pedicles of the upper thoracic vertebrae can typically accommodate larger diameter screws than the subaxial cervical vertebrae. In many construct systems, this requires the use of a tapered rod, which can be technically challenging to place.


Using a three-dimensionally printed biomimetic spine simulator, we illustrate the stepwise process of instrumentation and tapered rod placement across the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ).


Tapered rod systems can augment the biomechanical stability of cervicothoracic constructs. Ease of rod placement across the CTJ hinges upon a systematic method of instrumentation.


Tapered rod Thoracic pedicle screws Cervicothoracic junction Spinal Biomechanics 3D print 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

701_2019_4081_MOESM1_ESM.m4v (119.7 mb)
Video 1 Preoperative considerations, vital anatomy, and operative technique of tapered rod system for enhancing the biomechanical stability of cervicothoracic constructs. This is demonstrated using a 3D-printed biomimetic simulator (M4V 122553 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryMayo Clinic FloridaJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of EducationMayo Clinic FloridaJacksonvilleUSA

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