SRS Newsletter
June 2011

President's Message

SRS president

Dear SRS Members,

I hope this newsletter finds everyone getting ready for the summer season (except for our colleagues in the southern hemisphere!) including some well-deserved time off for recharging one's batteries. The summer season is certainly the busiest time of year for our society, especially for our dedicated staff as they prepare for our two flagship meetings, IMAST and The Annual Meeting (AM), which are rapidly approaching. Plans are all set for the IMAST meeting to be held in the thriving European city of Copenhagen from July 13-16, and we expect another great attendance for this world-class meeting. Dr. Todd Albert, completing his tenure as IMAST Chair and Program Director, has assembled another top-notch group of SRS members to provide outstanding ICLs on just about every major spinal surgery topic. Additionally, a group of 135 podium presentations selected from over 700 submitted abstracts will be presented during the three day meeting.

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Scoliosis Awareness Month

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Obituary: Federico Adler, MD 1929-2011

Prepared for the Scoliosis Research Society based on Dr. Adler's obituary in the Kansas City Star, March 3, 2011

Federico Adler, MD passed away quite unexpectedly on February 28, 2011. Fred was devoted to physical fitness well before it was popular. Running was probably his favorite method. On nice weekends he could be seen many miles from home, just chugging along and always looking like he was enjoying himself. He had an exercise room at home and died suddenly while exercising. He had always said that when his time came he hoped he was either on top of a mountain or exercising. He was "only" 82; we all thought he would live "forever", or at least another 10-15 years.

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Stacy Lewis Meets with Scoliosis Patients at the Inaugural LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix

Gregory R. White, MD
Scoliosis & Spinal Deformity – Phoenix Children's Hospital

The LPGA mades it's return to Phoenix, AZ the weekend of March 16-20th for the inaugural RR Donnelley Founder's Cup, where the paticipating golfers each competed for the charity of their choice. Our Society's flag bearer, Stacy Lewis, was gracious enough to name the SRS as her charity of choice and although she saved her best for the following weekend – winning her first major – she took some time to meet with three of my spinal fusion patients on Friday after her round.

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Adult Deformity Committee Update

Cliff Tribus, MD
Adult Deformity Committee Chair

Congratulations to Frank Schwab, MD. He has submitted to Spine his paper "SRS-Schwab Adult Spinal Deformity Classification: A validation Study." To give you some background, three years ago, the Adult Deformity Committee voted to streamline its charges so that it could focus its attention on helping Dr. Schwab complete his work. This is an ongoing process and Dr. Schwab and his coworkers have put in an enormous number of hours in trying to rein in a very complicated topic. The paper makes great strides in identifying important clinical consequences of adult deformity and combining them in a cohesive classification system which appears to be well supported in his paper. Please look for it in an upcoming edition of Spine.

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Advocacy & Public Relations Committee Update

John P. Lubicky, MD

State Proclamations of June as Scoliosis Awareness Month – This initiative was started several years ago & was successful in a number of states in which the governors proclaimed a Scoliosis Awareness Month. This was an effort to inform the public about scoliosis and the need to identify those who may have it and to seek evaluation for those who actually have it. With most states now not having mandatory school screenings, it is more important than ever to have some mechanism to make the public, particularly parents with growing children and adolescents aware of this diagnosis. When a governor takes the time to issue such a proclamation, he/she indicates by that action, they view that the issue is important and the public recognizes that. This perception hopefully then will encourage parents to seek evaluation and treatment for their affected children. Members of the committee were encouraged to pursue this initiative in their own states.

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Education Committee Update

Joseph H. Perra, MD
Education Committee Chair

The Education Committee has been busy preparing for this year's Annual Meeting events. Keeping in line with the focus of safety, the Pre-Meeting Course is titled Techniques for Optimizing Safety and Outcomes in Spinal Deformity Surgery. It promises to be a very informative course with the morning sessions broken down into adult and pediatric subsections. Both sections will address preoperative assessment and techniques to decrease errors in deformity surgery. The adult section further dives into adult spondylolisthesis, adult scoliosis, and issues of the osteoporotic spine and junctional deformities. The pediatric section will focus on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, neuromuscular scoliosis, and early onset scoliosis.

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SRS Tutorials Available

SRS is again offering one-day and 2-3-day tutorial sessions. Tutorials are open to SRS members only and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Global Affairs Advisory Board Update

Mr. Hilali Noordeen

The 12th International Phillip Zorab Symposium was held in London on the 16th March, 2011, and ran through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The IPZS is the flagship spinal deformity conference for the British Scoliosis Research Foundation (BSRF). We had a full programme and packed in a large number of presentations and speakers, both instructional and invited speakers, as well as paper presentations. There were nearly 25 countries represented.

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Patient Story Request

Have a patient story of your own to share? Send it to Katy Kujala-Korpela at

Compelling patient stories can be written or videotaped testimonials after surgery, photographs, audio interviews, patient artwork, etc---any form of media that captures the benefits of the patient's spine deformity care. The stories and media collected will be used for a number of projects: advocacy, the SRS Website, outreach to scoliosis patients and parents, research fundraising, and others. We welcome stories from around the world, and stories of care for our most challenged patients, such as those with neuromuscular disorders, thoracic insufficiency, etc.

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Long Range Planning Committee Update

Richard E. McCarthy, MD
Committee Chair

The charges for the Long Range Committee include the development of a list of potential cities and venues of future SRS meetings. The Long Range Planning Committee activities have been somewhat altered in the planning by the recent conclusion that our meetings should no longer occur at resort locations. After careful discussion, this was determined by the Board to mean that our anticipated meeting in Maspalomas in the Canary Islands and our anticipated meeting in Cancun, Mexico would have to be altered in their location. Accordingly, the activities of the Long Range Planning Committee have been directed toward locating alternative meeting sites for those meetings.

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Annual Meeting – Housing and Registration Open

Registration for the 46th Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, USA is now open at Online registration is available now, and the Preliminary Program will be posted shortly.

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Nominating Committee Update

Richard E. McCarthy, MD
Committee Chair

The charges of the Nominating Committee were to assess potential candidates for SRS Board of Directors, Fellowship Committee, as well as the Vice President. At the Board's direction, two Directors-at-Large were chosen this year along with one member of the Fellowship Committee and the Vice President. One of the stipulations of the Board was that a Director-at-Large be chosen who is 45 years or younger.

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SRS Patient Education Committee Report

Jay Shapiro, MD
Patient Education Committee Chair

The SRS Patient Education Committee has been involved with several initiatives in the last several years. Thanks to the leadership of Ram Mudiyam, MD, an extensive FAQ has been completed and is up on the YOC (Your Orthopedics Connection) site of the AAOS and will be part of the newly redesigned website.

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3D Scoliosis Committee Newsletter Update, June 2011

Over the past year, the 3D Scoliosis Committee has kept busy by meeting in person, as well as by teleconferences, to pursue its two main mandates of developing a 3D classification of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and of performing 3D analysis of scoliosis treatment. A summary of the committee's work over the past 2 years has been recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics and provides, for members interested, a more detailed description of the work performed within the committee (Labelle H, Aubin CE, Jackson R, Lenke L, Newton P, Parent S, Seeing the spine in 3-D: how will it change what we do? J Pediatr Orthop 2011; 31:S37–S45).

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Continuing Medical Education Committee Update

Glenn Rechtine, MD
CME Committee Chair

The CME committee has been focused on applying to be an accredited CME provider in addition to the usual responsibilities of making sure the meetings and other offerings provided by SRS are the best educational opportunities available. The process of application for ACCME certification involves a great deal of effort to document the work done everyday to educate our members and all others who depend on the SRS. This intense scrutiny allows those who avail themselves of our productions the assurance that the highest quality evidence is being used to make the treatment recommendations. The entire staff has done an incredible job of providing the quality, and they are also documenting this as well.

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Historian's Corner

By Nathan Lebwohl MD
SRS Historian

Unless you are discussing thoracoplasty, (see Genesis 2,22) it is always dangerous to identify a surgeon as the first to perform an operation. In the March newsletter I discussed Hibbs' and Albee's role in the evolution of spinal fusion surgery. I wrote that although "probably not the first surgeon to fuse the spine (Fred Albee claimed to have done his first spinal fusion in 1909, also to treat tuberculosis) Hibbs recognized that the operation could be used to treat spinal deformity due to causes other than tuberculosis, and titled his initial 1911 report "An operation for progressive spinal deformities."

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Future Meetings & Courses

2011 IMAST
18th IMAST
July 13-16, 2011
Copenhagen, Denmark
2011 Annual Meeting and Course
46th Annual Meeting & Course
September 14-17 2011
Louisville, Kentucky

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2011 Corporate Partners

We are pleased to acknowledge and thank those companies that provided financial support to SRS in 2010. Support levels are based on total contributions throughout the year and include the Annual Meeting, IMAST, Worldwide Conferences, Global Outreach Scholarships, Edgar Dawson Memorial Scholarships, SRS Traveling Fellowships and the Research Endowment Fund. Their support has helped SRS to offer high quality medical meetings and courses throughout the world, fund spinal deformity research, develop new patient materials, and provide educational opportunities for young surgeons and those from developing nations.

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Strategic Plan & Vision Statement

The SRS will increase its recognition domestically and internationally as the leading source of information and knowledge on spinal disorders affecting all patients, regardless of age.

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