A novel narrow surface cage for full endoscopic oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion: A finite element study.


To evaluate the mechanical response of a narrow surface cage that we designed for full endoscopic oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion (FE-OL-LIF).


A finite element (FE) model of lumbar spine was developed and validated. To simulate the FE-OL-LIF, the functional spinal unit (FSU) L4-L5 was assembled with a narrow surface polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cage, two rods and four screws. 500N load combined with 7.5Nm moment was applied to the surgical models. Effect of the cage width on the stress was studied.


Range of motion (ROM) in the surgical models significantly decreased by 88% in flexion, 91% extension, 85% in right and left lateral bending, 75% in right and left axial rotation as compared to the intact model. Width of the cage slightly decreased the ROM in all loading scenarios. Flexion produced the highest stress in the cages and endplates. In all loading cases, the maximum stresses of cages and endplates were both lower than their yield stress.


In engineering analysis, the novel narrow-surface cage had a strength to support spine activities. 9 mm width cage was recommended in FE-OL-LIF. This study provided engineering evidence and technical advice to improve the design of minimally invasive cage. Fatigue test and cadaver trial shall be improved.

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