Niloufar Shekouhi, Ardalan S. Vosoughi, Joseph M. Zavatsky, Vijay K. Goel, Alekos A. Theologis

August 2022, pp 1 - 10 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07331-7

First Online: 06 August 2022


Multi-rod constructs are used commonly to stabilize pedicle subtraction osteotomies (PSO). This study aimed to evaluate biomechanical properties of different satellite rod configurations and effects of screw-type spanning a PSO.


A validated 3D spinopelvic finite element model with a L3 PSO (30°) was used to evaluate 5 models: (1) Control (T10–pelvis + 2 rods); (2) lateral satellite rods connected via offsets to monoaxial screws (LatSat-Mono) or (3) polyaxial screws (LatSat-Poly); (4) in-line satellite rods connected to monoaxial screws (InSat-Mono) or (4) polyaxial screws (InSat-Poly). Global and PSO range of motions (ROM) were recorded. Rods’ von Mises stresses and PSO forces were recorded and the percent differences from Control were calculated.


All satellite rods (save InSat-Mono) increased PSO ROM and decreased primary rods’ von Mises stresses at the PSO. Lateral rods increased PSO forces (LatSat-Mono:347.1 N; LatSat-Poly:348.6 N; Control:336 N) and had relatively lower stresses, while in-line rods decreased PSO forces (InSat-Mono:280.1 N; InSat-Poly:330.7 N) and had relatively higher stresses. Relative to polyaxial screws, monoaxial screws further decreased PSO ROM, increased satellite rods’ stresses, and decreased PSO forces for in-line rods, but did not change PSO forces for lateral rods.


Multi-rod constructs using in-line and lateral satellite rods across a PSO reduced primary rods' stresses. Subtle differences in biomechanics suggest lateral satellite rods, irrespective of screw type, increase PSO forces and lower rod stresses compared to in-line satellite rods, which had a high degree of posterior instrumentation stress shielding and lower PSO forces. Clinical studies are warranted to determine if these findings influence clinical outcomes.

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