SRS Newsletter
June 2011

President's Message

SRS president

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. Support from our industry partners remains strong, and will again provide advanced education on specific techniques, implants and instrumentation devices during the Hands-on Demonstrations (HODs) and Hands-on Workshops (HOWs) as in recent years. Don’t forget to register for the Friday evening event at the Opera House, which is a superb venue with inspiring architecture, that will not only include the beautiful scenery and ambience, but also food (enough for dinner) and drink to compliment the socializing. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

Plans for the AM taking place in Louisville, Kentucky from September 14-17 also are proceeding extremely well. The format remains the same as the top 115 abstracts selected from over 1000 submitted will be presented from the podium as graded and organized by the Program Committee chaired by Dr. Laurel Blakemore. In addition, the ever-popular pre-meeting course, arranged by education chair Dr. Joseph Perra, will focus on Safety in both Pediatric and Adult spinal deformity surgery. In addition, following the Pre-Meeting Course on late Wednesday afternoon, a new forum titled “Case reports” will provide for very clinically based sessions in five simultaneous rooms for a more intimate and personal educational experience. Lastly, multiple lunchtime symposia on Thursday and Friday and ICLs on Thursday afternoon will also be presented and will be CME accredited. The Farewell Reception will be held at the Kentucky Derby Museum, which is a must-see for all visitors to this horse-loving part of the country. Further details on the AM will be forthcoming, but start making your plans to join us in Louisville this September!

From our busy committees, I am pleased to report that a major upgrade to our Website will be forthcoming in the next few weeks and we are now on Facebook! The Web site Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Michael Roh and Dr. John Sarwark has been in full gear the past three months working with an outside consultant to revise our homepage and several other sections, including an upgraded patient and family section. Many thanks go to these two, along with their entire committee and especially Dr. Tony Rinella, for all of their hard work on this. We hope you like what you see, and please provide comments, as there is still much work to do to keep our website the premier source of spinal deformity education and information as per our strategic plan. Great work, Team! Next, research is still prominent within our society as seen by the fact that the Research Grant Committee received a record 37 grant applications for the spring cycle. Dr. Dilip Sengupta, chair of the committee and his team, are actively analyzing the grants, and we look forward to announcing the winners at the AM in September where we will recognize the important achievements of our grant recipient winners prior to one of the breaks in the program. Special thanks goes to all of the committee members who spent so much time reviewing, grading, critiquing and providing constructive changes to the grants not selected for funding. Finally, the CME Committee has started the very important work of making sure our IMAST and AM are presented without bias or conflict of interest. Led by the efforts and expertise of Dr. Glenn Rechtine, chair of the CME Committee, every single presentation in these CME programs will be reviewed by a committee member, and any concerns/issues dealt with on a proactive basis to ensure that both meetings will present the most up-to-date, unbiased material free of any conflict. Certainly, one can imagine that the work involved in this and many of our other committees is substantial and very much appreciated.

From the Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) forefront, I am pleased to report that the Board of Directors (BOD) has approved our entry into society-directed EBM efforts, concentrating initially on the common adult deformity of degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). The BOD approved funding for a structured literature review and evidence-based rating to be performed by Dr. David Polly and his experienced colleagues at the University of Minnesota. Coupled with that, we are moving forward with a planned educational seminar on integrating EBM topics such as Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), Appropriate Use Criteria (AUCs), medical modeling etc. to be provided on Friday, October 14, the day prior to the fall Cabinet Meeting, to the current leadership (BOD), as well as potential future leaders with the many committee chairs who will attend this important educational session. The initial goal is to utilize DLS as a template for developing society-generated guidelines or AUCs, depending on what appears to be the best avenue to proceed. Next, and probably more importantly, we plan to develop a template and societal level of expertise to produce other guidelines/AUCs on future topics of importance to our society and health care systems around the globe. Please note that the efforts necessary to accomplish these extremely important EBM tasks will require many members to become involved – so please let any of us on the Presidential line, BOD, or the Evidence-Based Outcomes Committee (chair- Dr. James Sanders) know if you would like to help with these efforts.

I am also pleased to announce that plans are proceeding quickly on the upcoming SRS/AOSpine prospective multicenter international clinical research study to evaluate neurologic and all complications associated with complex adult deformity surgery, the “ScoliRisk study.” The following 15 centers were selected from over 200 applications including nine from North America: Johns Hopkins, Hospital for Special Surgery, Mayo Clinic, New York University, University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), University of Louisville, University of Toronto, University of Virginia, and Washington University-St Louis; three European centers: University of Denmark, Nottingham University in the UK, and University Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain; as well as three Asian centers: University of Hong Kong, Nanjing University in China, and Hamamastu University in Japan. I would like to congratulate all of the principal investigators at each site for their efforts in providing detailed input on the application form, which allowed us to select such an esteemed group of centers/surgeons. We are planning a kick-off meeting on Thursday, July 14 in Copenhagen in association with the IMAST meeting with plans to begin enrollment by the end of the summer.

Plans are also proceeding regarding our interest in starting our own journal of Spinal Deformity. The BOD has approved the collaboration with Elsevier Publishing Company after receiving a most favorable proposal. We are working on the final contract, which will be presented to the BOD at the July IMAST meeting. Importantly, our Immediate Past President, Dr. Richard McCarthy is chairing a search committee consisting of Dr. Randall Betz, Dr. Kenneth Cheung, Dr. Kamal Ibrahim, Dr. Vicki Kalen and Tressa Goulding, CAE, CMP, to select the inaugural Editor-in-Chief, a position of great importance for the success of our new journal launch. We all look forward to finalizing this project this summer. Please note that we will be requesting applications for other editorial roles for this journal soon as well, so all who are interested, please apply when notified if you are able to help in this important landmark venture for our society.

Lastly, I would like to thank two staff members for their past work with the SRS who have moved on to other positions, Nadine Couto and Katie Agard and welcome both Katy Kujala-Korpela and Cydni Chapman to the SRS staff, joining Tressa Goulding, Megan Kelley, Courtney Kissinger, and Nilda Toro in the day-to-day management of the multitude of activities with which our society is involved. We certainly could not function without this terrific staff and I want to acknowledge their expertise, work ethic, and dedication that are all nothing short of spectacular. The leadership and membership truly appreciate all you do!

I hope to see many of you in Copenhagen soon!

Lawrence G. Lenke, MD


Federico Adler, MD

Prepared for the Scoliosis Research Society by Marc Asher 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.

Dr. Adler lived a remarkable life. Born in Austria in 1929, he and his family escaped in 1938 just after the Nazi invasion and Kristallnacht. His extended family was destroyed. His parents settled in Quito, Ecuador. In the following 17 years Fred completed his medical studies, became medical director of a small rural public health clinic performing surgeries, delivering babies and practicing general medicine. He also met the love of his life, Betty Burbano, and began a 55 year love affair.

In 1955 Fred and Betty moved to Kansas City where Fred joined the orthopedic residency program at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Following a brief stint on the faculty he was in private practice for 30 years, becoming Chief of Staff at Menorah Medical Center and caring for thousands of grateful patients.

For the next 13 years he practiced at the Veterans Administration Hospital, mentoring orthopedic residents who adored him.

In 2006 Fred returned to his academic home at the Kansas University Medical Center and pursued two lines of original research. One was aimed at better understanding the pathophysiology ARDS/Fat Embolism syndrome. He had original ideas about possible new drug therapies. He and his team had published two papers and submitted a third. The second was aimed at identifying an inexpensive carrier for osteogenic therapy to fracture and arthrodesis sites. This was proving to be the harder study, but progress was being made. Initiating and conducting original bench research after 40+ years of clinical practice puts Fred in a unique category.

He was a world traveler, having visited every continent and the Arctic Circle. Also an avid mountaineer, he had climbed several major peaks including Kilimanjaro, Fuji, Elbrus, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.

Dr. Adler's family was his greatest joy and priority. His beloved Betty died in 2005. His two daughters were his closest friends. He enjoyed his six grandchildren from birth to adulthood and he developed close, unique relationships with each. And he was starting the process again with his two great grandchildren.

Dr. Adler was a doctor's doctor and an inspiration to us all. In 2007 he established the Betty and Fred Adler Resident Award Endowment at the Kansas University Endowment Association. Each year the orthopedic resident who has performed the most original research or made the most original contribution is recognized.

In every sense Dr. Adler was a renaissance man...a gentleman, scholar and loyal friend. His legacy lives on.

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 made 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.

Andrea Hall, Kiara Tassey, and Alexis Ortiz (two of them just three weeks removed from posterior spinal fusion surgery) met with Stacy and received inspiration and some encouraging words that just because you’ve gone through a big surgical procedure, doesn’t mean that you can’t follow your dreams and accomplish your goals. The girls shared their own stories with Stacy, who was kind enough to listen and pose for pictures before heading off to the the practice green for another hour of work.

On behalf of myself, my patients, and the orthopaedic department of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, we would like to thank Stacy for her generosity, congratulate her on her major victory, and wish her the best of luck in the future!

Adult Deformity Committee Update

Clifford B. Tribus, MD
Adult Deformity Committee Chair

The SRS Adult Deformity Committee currently has eleven members, including myself as chair and we are diligently working through our current list of charges.

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.

Other charges of the committee have been addressed as well. Lingering from previous years were two papers already written that were to be added to the website. The first authored by Kirkham Wood, MD on the subject of vertebroplasty, was reviewed by the committee early in the year and subsequently passed on to the Presidential Line. It met with approval from the PL and now sits with the Website Committee for publication on the SRS website. A second paper dealing with osteoporosis and the complexities of that problem facing the adult deformity surgeon was revisited by Donald Deinlein, MD. His revision has added substantially to the integrity of this paper, and it has currently been resubmitted to our committee members for final review before heading on to the Presidential Line.

Finally, the committee was charged with coming up with a list of FAQs for our adult deformity patients. As you know, the Growing Spine Committee had come up with an FAQ list of questions and answers for their patients, and it became our charge to come up with a similar, yet more focused list for the adult deformity patient. Progress has been made on this front as well. The list of questions has been collated and distributed and currently 80% of the answers have been resubmitted to me. Once this list is complete, I will re-circulate the questions and answers to the subcommittee for their final comments prior to passing it on to the Website Committee.

Committee charges continue to evolve and if anyone has any suggestions or problems that they feel the Adult Deformity Committee should address, please feel free to forward them to me. Here’s to wishing you all a wonderful summer and a straight spine.

Chair: Clifford B. Tribus, MD Members: Frank Schwab, MD, Jacob M. Buchowski, MD, Robert A. Hart, MD, Sigurd H. Berven, MD, Mark B. Dekutoski, MD, Hossein Mehdian, MD, Jeffrey D. Coe, MD, Christopher DeWald, MD, Andrew K Cree, MD, Donald A. Deinlein, MD.

Advocacy & Public Relations Committee Update

John P. Lubicky, MD

The Advocacy Committee has been involved in several initiatives since the last Annual Meeting. Advocacy, as defined in the committee’s charges involves efforts directed to issues concerning our patients, as well as our members.

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.

Research Capitol Hill Days – This is an AAOS sponsored two-day event that took place in Washington, DC in March during which representatives from the AAOS membership, as well as some specialty societies (and their patients, if desired), visited with their states’ senators and representatives to push for continued funding for musculoskeletal research through the NIAMS section of the NIH. Patients and others spent the first day in meetings and visiting NIH. That evening, physicians, patients, our DC liaisons and featured speakers met for a conference and dinner. The second day, participants spent the day running to senate/house office buildings around the capitol meeting with their respective senators, representatives or their staff people. Lawrence Lenke, MD and I represented the SRS and were paired together to visit the Missouri and West Virginia politicians. Visits with the actual representatives or senators were quite interesting, and in general, were more rewarding than just meeting with staffers. However, all we met were quite cordial and seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say. The visit to the lawmaker’s lair was an eye-opener in how the government works, its complexity and how all special interest groups (like ours) continually petition these people. It also demonstrated the great breadth of issues they must deal with daily to address the needs of their constituents. A short amount of free time between visits allowed us to visit the House chamber during a debate on the war in Afghanistan – another eye-opener into the workings of our government.

Alternative Treatments – The Advocacy Committee has teamed up with the Non-Operative Committee to investigate various but mostly unproven remedies for spinal deformity. These run the gamut of legitimacy, but are available to our patients who prefer to reject standard methods of management. Our efforts are being aimed at identifying these methods and then hopefully providing accurate information and assessment of them, via the website, for those seeking information. This collaborative effort is in its early stages and no doubt will continue in the foreseeable future.

Collaboration with the Presidential Line and our DC Liaisons in Matters of Interest & Importance for our Members – This committee, as well as others, is made aware of developments, such as the threat of very restrictive guidelines for coverage of spinal surgery by South Carolina BC/BS, in an effort to take appropriate action to clarify and address these issues.

Revision of the Textbook of the BMUS – The USBJI (US Bone & Joint Initiative) has replaced the USBJD as an agent to maintain awareness and provide education on issues of musculoskeletal health. A book was published a number of years ago under the auspices of the USBJD that addressed various MS conditions and served as a source of information on the Burden of Musculoskeletal Disease in the US (BMUS). It was felt that an update was in order to provide more current information. The members of the Advocacy committee were asked to review the current chapter addressing spinal deformity and provide input to the chairman, so that a revision of the chapter could be done as deemed necessary. This task is well underway, with the expectation that that revision would be completed by the next annual meeting.

If any SRS fellows have any issues that could be addressed by the Advocacy Committee, he/she can communicate directly with the chairman or through the SRS office.

Chair: John P. Lubicky, MD, Members: Daniel W. Green, MD, William C. Lauerman, MD, Jochen P. Son-Hing, MD, Richard Holt, MD, Vishwas R. Talwalkar, MD, Jose Herrera-Sota, MD, Brian G. Smith, MD, Baron S. Lonner, MD, Steven M. Mardjetko, MD.

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.

The afternoon sections will be combined, addressing principles of improvement and techniques for optimizing outcomes in deformity setting. Following this, the role and use of neuromonitoring and techniques utilized in fixation in difficult scenarios and increasing mobility of the spine, where necessary, will be addressed.

Three concurrent Instructional Course Lectures (ICLs) will take place on Thursday, September 15. For the first time, CME credit will be available for Annual Meeting ICLs. The University of South Florida has designated that each ICL is worth 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. There is an additional registration fee of $30 for the ICLs.

The SRS Growing Spine Committee will present Growing Spine: Early Onset Neuromuscular Spinal Deformity. The course will provide an overview of the challenges presented by children with early onset neuromuscular spinal deformity, and a survey of the current treatment options: cast/orthotic, growing rods, VEPTR, hybrid growing rods, Shilla, magnetic powered growing rods, and early fusion. Case studies will illustrate the decision making process involved in individualizing treatment based on the co-morbidities in this population, and define the indications for present day treatment modalities. Growing Spine Committee chair Lawrence Karlin, MD, is the chair of this ICL.

The SRS Worldwide Conference Committee will present A Potpourri of Worldwide Conference Presentations. This Instructional Course Lecture will present an international approach to various spinal deformity problems. The program will include lectures presented by local experts at recent Worldwide Conferences in South Africa, China, Egypt and Mexico. Drs. Ahmet Alanay and Kamal Ibrahim are co-chairs for this course.

Education Committee members John R. Dimar, MD and Lori Ann Karol, MD will chair The Treatment of Spinal Deformity Associated with Syndromic Conditions: Avoiding Complications & Improving Patient Safety. This ICL will cover the unique problems associated with the spinal deformities encountered in four major syndrome classes: Down Syndrome, Neurofibromatosis, Marfan’s & Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, and common miscellaneous syndromes.

This year the SRS committees were given the opportunity to apply to present a Lunchtime Symposium at the Annual Meeting. Six committees will present symposia on Wednesday September 14 and Friday September16. The Adult Deformity, Evidence Based Outcomes, and Website committees will present on Wednesday and the Research Grant, Global Outreach and 3D Scoliosis committees will present on Friday. The symposia require no extra charge to attend, but do require pre-registration.

In addition to these activities, the Education Committee is responsible for the program at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons FOSA Meeting and putting together symposia for the SRS at the AAOS Meeting.

The committee has also reviewed the tutorials that are offered by SRS members to the membership to make sure they are in keeping with educational objectives and absent of industry bias.

Make plans for attending this year’s Annual Meeting. The Pre-Meeting Course and Instructional Course Lectures promise to be enlightening and educational. Any insight or future desire for topics for the Education Committee to tackle, are appreciated being addressed to: Joseph Perra, Committee Chair.

Chair: Joseph H. Perra, MD, Members: Ahmet Alanay, MD, Kamal N. Ibrahim, MD, Blakemore, MD, Brian Hsu, MD, Amer Samdani, MD, Adam L. Wollowick, MD, Mark B. Dekutoski, MD, Eric T. Jones, MD, Glenn R. Rechtine II, MD, Paul D. Sponseller, MD, John R. Dimar, MD, Lori A. Karol, MD, Daniel W. Green, MD

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.

Each tutorial is designed as a small group educational experience. They are not CME accredited or intended to represent the best methods for the medical situations discussed. Tutorials are intended to present an approach, method, view, statement, or opinion of the tutors that may be helpful to others who face similar situations.

The tutorial schedule and registration materials are available online at

Global Affairs Advisory Board Update

Hilali Noordeen, FRCS

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.

The meeting was a great success and the companies who attended the meeting also had very positive feedback about their experience and the attendance they had at their booths.

The consensus of the meeting was that innovation and research had a tremendous impact on the quality of care of patients, both in terms of identifying the cause of spinal deformity and different treatment modalities that may be on offer.

By universal acclaim, it was felt that this was one of the most important research meetings in the world of its kind, and a repeat of this in approximately two years was thought to be necessary. Early indications suggest it will again be held in London in March, 2013.

BSRF are hoping to become the leading research body, both in terms of encouraging research and having the Zorab meeting both as an inducement for young researchers to undertake research, but also giving them a forum to publicise their work with like minded specialists from different disciplines.

Chair: Kenneth MC Cheung, PhD Members: Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD, Osmar Avanzi, MD, Ernesto S. Bersusky, MD, Dietrich K.A. Schlenzka, MD, Michael Ruf, MD, Hee-Kit Wong, MD, Khalil Kharrat, MD, Mohammed M. Mossaad, MD.

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.

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. Thus far, the work of the Committee has consisted in visiting conference centers and hotels in three large cities in Spain as an alternative to the Canary Islands meeting in 2014. The choices for alternate sites include meeting venues in Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, the three largest cities in Spain. Conference centers in each of these cities were carefully reviewed by Richard McCarthy, MD and Tressa Goulding, CAE CMP, along with the nearby hotels and pertinent sites. This information is presently being correlated and will be presented to the Board for review in July.

The alternate site for the IMAST 2013 formerly planned for Cancun will be in Canada, which will require further planning before the site is chosen. At the present time, the Annual Meeting sites have been carefully reviewed and chosen through the year 2015 and will take place in Louisville 2011, Chicago 2012, Lyon, France 2013, Anchorage 2014, and Minneapolis 2015. The IMAST Meetings will take place in Copenhagen 2011, Istanbul 2012, Canada 2013, Spain 2014, and the 2015 meeting is as yet to be determined. The Members of the Long Range Planning Committee thank the SRS for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

Chair: Richard E. McCarthy, MD Members: Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD, George H. Thompson, MD, Theodore A. Wagner, MD, Todd J. Albert, MD, Lawrence G. Lenke, MD, Ahmet Alanay, MD.

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. Housing reservations are now also being accepted at the Galt House Hotel & Suites, the Annual Meeting site and headquarters hotel. Visit the Housing tab of the Annual Meeting website for complete rate information, to book online or for Galt House contact information. The deadline to make your reservation at the Galt House Hotel & Suites is August 15.

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. One of the first duties of the Nominating Committee, therefore, was to determine what the qualifications should be for this new addition of an “under 45” member to the Board, since so few individuals in this age group have actually served as Committee Chairman. The nominations were submitted to the Committee by the Members at Large, along with letters of recommendation for those individuals. This information was reviewed and carefully assessed by the Members of the Nominating Committee and discussed extensively on conference calls. A slate was then produced for presentation to the Board and will be ready for the July Board of Directors Meeting which will take place in Copenhagen at IMAST. Each of the nominees that are being recommended to the Board have been carefully reviewed and have agreed to serve, if chosen by the Board. The Nominating Committee is very proud of the slate of nominees that it has chosen and we feel very confident that this group of individuals will carry the organization forward into the future. We thank the SRS for allowing us the privilege of being able to serve in the capacity and look forward to presenting these individuals at the July meeting.

Chair: Richard E. McCarthy, MD, Members: Kenneth M.C. Cheung, PhD, John P. Dormans, MD, David W. Polly, MD, Daniel J. Sucato, MD

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. As part of the new website, the committee has been involved with the renovation of the Patient and Families Section to make it more user-friendly. Great thanks go to Anthony Rinella, MD and Michael Roh, MD for spearheading this process (editing for 8th grade level as well as adding animation, etc).

The SRS is now on Facebook thanks to Ahmad Nassr, MD of the Patient Education Committee. Please sign up and “Like” our page. On Facebook, search for Scoliosis and you’ll find our page. The wall is populated with pictures, information, and announcements from the SRS.

Thanks to the committee member Toni Cawley, RN we are in the process of developing a list of questions for patients to ask their scoliosis physician at their first visit and at other key times during treatment. Many patients voice concerns about not knowing what to ask their doctor.

Thanks to all committee members for their help and support.

Chair: Jay Shapiro, MD Members: Ram Mudiyam, MD, Toni Cawley, RN, Walter F. Krengel, MD, Craig Eberson, MD, Ahmad Nassr, MD, Glen M. Ginsberg, MD, Christopher Bergin, MD, Michael C. Albert, MD, Andrew K. Cree, MD, James T. Guille, MD, D. Raymond Knapp, MD, Joseph P. O’Brien, MBA, Stanley E. Sacks, MA

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).

One of the main challenges encountered in 3D analysis of scoliotis deformities is to present the additional and complex information brought by adding the 3rd dimension into an understandable manner. The committee is currently working on a graphic display of the axial or ‘’top view’’ of scoliosis which allows a better understanding of how the various curves seen in the frontal plane are oriented in space and how correction in 3D can be achieved after surgery, such as in the example shown below. For members interested in learning more on this topic, a Symposium on 3D analysis of scoliosis will be organized by the 3D Scoliosis Committee and held on Friday September 16 from 12:25 to 14:10 at our next annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

We wish to acknowledge all members of the committee for their work over this past year, with special thanks to the core members: Drs. Lawrence Lenke, Peter Newton, Roger Jackson, Stefan Parent, Ian Stokes and Virginie Lafage.

Co-Chairs: Hubert Labelle, MD and Carl-Éric Aubin, MD Members: Lawrence G. Lenke, MD, Roger P. Jackson, MD, Peter O. Newton, MD, Stefan Parent, MD, Pierre Roussouly, MD, Virginie C. Lafage, PhD.

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.

One of the major concepts of professional education is to positively effect change in practices based on evidence-based recommendations. Our leadership has continually focused on improved patient care. President Lawrence Lenke, MD has singled out complication avoidance as a theme. This was reflected in the evaluation of the meeting in Japan. The vast majority of those responding felt that the emphasis on safety came through, and they were in the process of changing various aspects of practice because of these findings.

The M&M registry is a tool that very few organizations have at their disposal. This allows a review of potential problem areas. This can be used to target real or potential problems. This gap analysis is critical to ensure the presentations at all of our events are related to topics that can change physician practices.

As more and more press coverage focuses on conflicts of interest in medical studies, it is incumbent on all CME providers to ensure that presentations are as bias-free as possible. Acknowledgment of a conflict does not necessarily resolve the problem. Just because I tell you I am a paid spokesperson, it is not proper to present an infomercial. The requirements are that the presentation has to be based on the best information available. Unless a trade name is critical to the meaning of the presentation, it should not be used. A fair and balanced approach must be used at all times. Cherry-picking low quality papers to reference while ignoring stronger conflicting opinions is not allowed. Personal opinion can be used when there is no stronger source of information. As a presenter, it is critical to keep our individual feelings in check, especially if there is a financial arrangement involved. As a listener, it is just as important to keep an open mind to new ideas. They should be evaluated and compared to our current practices using the same evidence weighted evaluations.

In all situations, it is imperative that we act in the best interest of our patients. Sometimes we have trouble with this because of our own biases.

In summary, the SRS staff is to be congratulated on the phenomenal work that they have done in addition to the regular aspects of their jobs. We anticipate a completed application for ACCME certification this summer. Thanks to Tressa and all the staff. I would also like to thank all the CME Committee members and especially Frank Schwab, MD in these efforts.

Chair: Glenn Rechtine II Members: B. Stephens Richards, MD, George H. Thompson, MD, Steven D. Glassman, MD, Joseph W. Perra, MD, Laurel Blakemore, MD, John F. Sarwark, MD, Todd J. Albert, MD, Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD, Mark Dekutoski, MD, Daniel J. Sucato, MD, Ricard E. McCarthy, MD, Michael S. Roh, MD. Frank J. Schwab, MD, Lawrence G. Lenke, MD, Kamal M. Ibrahim, MD, Ahmet Alanay, MD.

Historian’s Corner

By Nathan Lebwohl, MD
SRS Historian

Who was first?
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.”

Berthold Hadra described the use of interspinous wiring for stabilization of the spine and prevention of deformity in the treatment of tuberculosis and fracture in 1891. In his classic article ( Medical Times and Register 1891 22:423) he credits Dr. W. T. Wilkins with being the first to stabilize the spine with interspinous carbolized silk suture. Fusion was not part of these stabilization procedures, and they were done for deformities other than scoliosis.

So we can argue about whether Albee or Hibbs performed the first fusion, who was the first to fuse the spine for scoliosis? I have to thank Robert Winter for pointing me to what is probably the correct answer (and he credits John Hall with making him aware of this.) In a 1914 article in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery ( 1914 s2-12: 253-8) Herbert Galloway reports three cases of fusion for paralytic scoliosis using Albee’s technique of splitting the spinous processes, and inserting a tibial graft into the cleft. Reduction of the deformity was accomplished by manual traction. The first of these surgeries was done in July 1913. In the article, Galloway graciously credits Dr. Kidner of Detroit as having done the same operation 10 days earlier, unbeknownst to Galloway. To the best of my knowledge, no other published record of Kidner’s case exists.

Please click on image to enlarge.

Bone Graft Bone Graft

Clinical photographs of patient with paralytic scoliosis treated surgically from Albee’s 1915 textbook, Bone Graft Surgery.

Future Meetings & Courses

Future Meetings & Courses

18th IMAST
July 13-16, 2011
Copenhagen, Denmark

46th Annual Meeting & Course
September 14-17, 2011
Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Worldwide Conferences

September 6-9, 2011
Prague. Czech Republic
In conjunction with SICOT

October 12, 2011
Buenos Aires, Argentina
In conjunction with SILACO

December 1-4, 2011
Beijing, China
In conjunction with the Chinese Orthopaedic Association

December 8-10, 2011
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In conjunction with the Malaysian Orthopaedic Society

2011 Corporate Partners

Double Diamond Level Support

Depuy Spine K2M Medtronic

Diamond Level Support


Platinum Level Support

Synthes Spine

Gold Level Support


Globus Medical


Silver Level Support

Nuvasive Zimmer Spine  

Bronze Level Support

Ackermann Medical GmbH & Co. KG
Alphatec Spine, Inc.
Biomet Spine
Biospace Med
Ellipse Technologies, Inc.
Elsevier Canada
Exactech, Iinc.
FzioMed, Inc.
Lippencott Williams& Wilkins
NuTech Medical
Orthofix, Inc.
Paradigm Spine
Showa Ika
Spineguard, Inc.
Spine View
Vexim SAS

Sponsors In-Kind

DePuy Spine SpineCraft  

Strategic Plan

GOAL 1. Funding: The Scoliosis Research Society will have a funding base large and diversified enough to ensure financial independence in funding research and sound fiscal operating policies.

GOAL 2. Research: The Scoliosis Research Society will be the global source of research on spinal deformities

GOAL 3. Education: The Scoliosis Research Society will be the global source of education on spinal deformities

GOAL 4. Globalism: Through its members and programs, the Scoliosis Research Society will improve spinal deformity care globally

GOAL 5. Advocacy: The Scoliosis Research Society will be recognized as the leading resource for information and public policy on spinal deformities.

GOAL 6. Society Leadership: The Scoliosis Research Society will operate in a manner consistent with its stature as the pre-eminent spinal deformity society.

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.

Scoliosis Awareness Month

Please click on image to enlarge

Future Meetings & Courses Future Meetings & Courses