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Influence of double rods and interbody cages on range of motion and rod stress after spinopelvic instrumentation: a finite element study



To compare instrumentation configurations consisting of bilateral single or double rods and additional interbody cages (IBCs) at different levels in terms of Range of Motion (ROM) and distribution of von Mises stress in rods.


A previously validated L1-pelvis finite element model was used and instrumented with configurations consisting of single or double bilateral rods and IBCs at multiple levels. Pure moments of 7.5 N.m were applied to L1 in main directions in addition to a follower load of 280 N. Global, segmental ROM and distribution of von Mises stress in rods were studied.


All configurations reduced segmental and global ROM from 50 to 100% compared to the intact spine. Addition of IBCs slightly increased ROM at levels adjacent to the IBC placement. The simple rod configuration presented the highest von Mises stress (457 MPa) in principal rods at L5-S1 in flexion. Doubling rods and IBC placement reduced this value and shifted the location of maximum von Mises stress to other regions. Among studied configurations, double rods with IBCs at all levels (L2-S1) showed the lowest ROM. Maximal von Mises stresses in secondary rods were lower in comparison to main rods.


Double rods and IBCs reduced global and segmental ROM as well as von Mises stress in rods. The results suggest a possible benefit in using both strategies to minimize pseudarthrosis and instrumentation failure. However, increased ROM in adjacent levels and the shift of maximal von Mises stress to adjacent areas might cause complications elsewhere.

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Clariance supported the study in the framework of the CIFRE convention No. 2016/1529, with support of the ANRT (French National Association for Research and Technology).

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Correspondence to Aleksander Leszczynski.

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Leszczynski, A., Meyer, F., Charles, YP. et al. Influence of double rods and interbody cages on range of motion and rod stress after spinopelvic instrumentation: a finite element study. Eur Spine J 31, 1515–1524 (2022).

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  • Finite element analysis
  • Rod fracture
  • Pseudarthrosis
  • Instrumented FEM
  • Adult spinal deformity