SRS Newsletter

President’s Message

The SRS continues to be very busy around the world!

In February, SRS held its 6th Spine Deformity Solutions: A Hands-On Course in Las Vegas with a full house. Thank you to Munish Gupta, MD and Christopher Ames, MD, and all of the faculty who participated in this event. The next Hands-On Course will be held in Hong Kong, October 15-16.

We had quite an extensive array of SRS activities at the AAOS annual meeting in Orlando, FL. The Board of Directors met, Kenneth MC Cheung, MD, led an education retreat and our members taught in several symposia, instructional course lectures and led by John R. Dimar II, MD, our section of spine specialty day. Later that same month, also in Orlando, SRS had several sessions at the AANS/CNS Joint Section meeting. This organization was led this past year by SRS member Praveen Mummaneni, MD who has aggressively increased the spinal deformity content.

Internationally, SRS participated with BritSpine, with John P. Dormans, MD, representing the Presidential Line and with the Chinese SRS in Nanjing and the Russian Association of Spine Surgeon in Moscow, with Prof. Cheung representing the Presidential Line. On May 25, I represented SRS at the annual SOSORT IRSSD meeting in Banff, Alberta in Canada. Again thank you to Marinus de Kluever, MD, PhD, and to all of the SRS members who have been participating in our Worldwide Courses.

There were many SRS members who participated in the Global Spine Congress in Dubai. While there, Prof. Cheung and I met with the AOSpine educational team to better understand their program for adult learning and education. There is perhaps some synergy to be gained by leveraging their experience in organizing levels of educational experience around the world. SRS also had a booth staffed by our Membership Manager, Arlensiu Garcia Novelli that was extensively visited by international attendees looking for information about SRS and several membership applications were submitted.

The Global Outreach Program continues its busy schedule with activities this year occurring in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Kolkata, India, Cali, Columbia. Thank you to all who participate. It is life changing for the patients served and for those who participate in serving the patients.

In addition our committees, task forces and members have been actively engaged in SRS activities. Health Policy Chair, Gary T. Brock, MD brought two young ladies to Research Capitol Hill days, both of whom have had surgery for scoliosis and both have gone on to become Victoria’s Secret models. This opened quite a few doors. Read more about their visit in his newsletter article in this issues and also in an upcoming issue of AAOS Now.

Tressa Goulding and I had the opportunity to participate in the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) in Washington, D.C. We were able to jointly attend a session about non-profit boards. I have to say we both felt like the SRS is exemplary in our board engagement and activities. This is due to the very high level of engagement of our board members.

At the NOLC, a number of issues came up that are most pertinent to US members. There is significant ongoing discussion about the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons Maintenance of Certification program. The AAOS Board of Councilors has asked AAOS to look at alternative pathways for MOC as has occurred with the American Board of Internal Medicine. There is upcoming significant regulatory change from MACRA especially including MIPS requirements for demonstrating quality in the move to value based reimbursement. It is not clear to me personally how spine deformity surgeons will meet these requirements and qualify for the value based incentives or conversely experience the penalties.

The most significant discussion occurred over the issue of concurrent surgery. The articles in the Boston Globe have generated significant discussion and congressional interest on this topic. Many hospitals are re-examining their policies. The American College of Surgeons put together a position statement that significantly constrained the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. There was a very strong push to maintain consistency among the house of surgery. It is not clear that this does a good job of addressing the concerns and practicalities of orthopaedic surgery.

There is another issue that is beginning to become much more significant. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken a particular interest in scoliosis tethering surgery. In the US, this is physician directed or off label surgery. Much of what we do in medicine, is physician directed or off label. This may be more frequent in pediatric surgery as fewer devices have pediatric specific clearance. The SRS has a task force of concerned and involved surgeons looking at this issue. We met at the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) meeting in Indianapolis in April.  A potential solution would be to have SRS sponsor an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study. We have been investigating what the implications for such an action are but that is not yet clear.  I hope to have more of an update for the Board of Directors to review at IMAST in July.

Finally, as we prepare for IMAST in Washington, D.C., Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD and Henry F.H. Halm, MD, have put together an outstanding program. It will be an excellent educational and scientific event in a beautiful setting. There will be something for everyone. You will learn something new at this meeting. I look forward to seeing you there!

David W. Polly, Jr, MD
SRS President 2015-2016

Historical Committee Update

George H. Thompson, MD
SRS Historian

A telephone conference call was held on Thursday, May 12, 2016.
It was our second call of the year.  During the call we discussed the following topics:


  • The SRS office and Kansas University visit.
  • Van Loon specimen request.
  • Expansion of the SRS timeline.
  • Interviews with past-presidents, Lifetime Achievement Award winners and others for Prague.

In early March, Behrooz Akbarnia, MD and I visited Ashtin Neuschaefer in the SRS office in Milwaukee. During this visit, we reviewed several items and documents being held there. It was a very productive visit in which we were able to identify many items that need to be added to the SRS Archives website as well as sent to the physical SRS Archives at the University of Kansas Medical Center. After our visit to the SRS office, we flew to the SRS Archives in Kansas City and were joined by Jay Shapiro, MD. It was an inspiring trip in which we received an in depth tour of the Harrington Archives by Marc Asher, MD, reviewed the current SRS Archives and discussed the future of the Archives. I highly encourage all of our members to visit the SRS and Harrington Archives. It is extremely interesting.

The Van Loon specimen is an adolescent idiopathic human spine specimen that was operated on using Harrington Rod Instrumentation. The patient died nine months postoperatively and the spine was harvested.  The current owner, Dr. Piet Van Loon, wishes to donate it to the SRS or Harrington archive.  This is being investigated as whether SRS or the University of Kansas should be recipient and possible issues with shipping of human material.

As previously noted, the timeline used for the SRS Museum has been made digital in more ways than one! First, visitors to the SRS website can take a virtual tour of the actual museum, Additionally, the timeline has been made into a living digital timeline, Currently, only items from the museum are listed on this timeline. The committee will be working on adding to this timeline over the next few years. In order to make this timeline as accurate and comprehensive as possible, the committee will be reaching out to the individuals directly related to timeline topics to provide a write up.

The committee will be conducting videotaped interviews with numerous individuals at the 51st Annual Meeting & Course in Prague, Czech Republic. This is in an effort to bring our video archives up to date and to add to our collection of interviews with significant influencers in the field of spine deformity. Should you have any suggestions for individuals you feel are deserving of interviews, please send them to Ashtin in the SRS office,

Chair: George H. Thompson, MD Committee: Behrooz A. Akbarnia, MD; Jason E. Lowenstein, MD; Terry D. Amaral, MD; Alejo Vernengo-Lezica, MD; Patricia N. Kostial, BSN, RN; Jay Shapiro, MD; Hani Mhaidli, MD, PhD

Ethics Corner

Kamal Ibrahim, MD, FRCS(C), MA
Ethics and Professionalism Committee Chair

Is this an ethical issue? The committee publishes in each issue of the newsletter a case for a possible ethical conflict and invites members to send their comments. The ethical issue case for this newsletter is the over use of Ponte osteotomy in routine AIS surgeries.

Please send your comments to The committee will collect all responses, summarize and publish them in the next newsletter.

The case:

14 years old male with 51 degrees Rt Thoracic curve, Lenke 1A with thoracic Lordosis -5 degrees.


Decision was made to perform 4 Ponte osteotomies at the apex vertebrae to facilitate the correction of the sagittal plane and to create Kyphosis


The outcome: Thoracic Kyphosis from T5 to T12 20 degrees.

Questions to Consider

  1. Was this appropriate? This type of curve treated for many years with good outcome with the osteotomies, which came to be popular over last 5-8 years.
  2. Would be acceptable to have complications from the osteotomies in this kind of curve?
  3. The added cost for osteotomies fees, would be justifiable with the limited gain in correction?

Please send your feedback to

Here are the comments of some of the committee’s members. They are published to stimulate members to send their input.

  1. Great topic.  Very relevant.  Will be interested in responses
  2. I think that is a good topic.  Can argue on either side of the coin.  But, in the case you presented, probably adds time, risk, expense.  Good food for thought and i think that is the important thing
  3. The flexibility of this curve is not presented, but I would think that excellent correction in both the coronal & sagittal planes can be achieved with standard posterior segmental spinal instrumentation techniques. Harry Shufflebarger's "Posterior Release" which incorporates facetectomy & release of the ligamentum flavum is a simple addition to the procedure to help a bit with the sagittal correction. I consider this a part of my usual construct & correction technique & don't consider it as a separate procedure, nor do I bill for it.
  4. The indiscriminate use of the more complicated Ponte osteotomies with their attendant risks does not seem justified. It does, however, offer another billable part of what should be a simple standard operation. It prolongs the surgery, adds risk of neurologic injury & potentially increased EBL. For this particular case it would seem unjustified and could be seen as unethical as it suggests doing something unnecessary which will benefit the surgeon more than the patient.
  5. I think this case raises good ethical issues.
  6. What if there had been a neurologic complication?
  7. Could correction have been achieved without Ponte's?

Program Committee Update

Justin S. Smith, MD, PhD
Program Committee Chair


Our Annual Meeting is fast approaching.  Following an exceptionally successful and historic 50th Annual Meeting & Course held in Minneapolis, MN, we now focus our attention on our 51st meeting, to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  We are hopeful that this centrally located European city, often referred to as the “heart of Europe”, will serve as a convenient and desirable location for our international attendees, and as an opportunity for our domestic membership to explore this ancient and modern capital.

The Program and Education Committees have created an outstanding program.  The scientific program was assembled from more than 1,500 abstract submissions.  Each abstract was reviewed by five different reviewers in an authorship-blinded fashion and graded based on average scores and an Olympic scoring method. Members of the Program Committee then met in person to review the ratings and to create a balanced and educational scientific program.  The competition for a podium presentation remained exceptionally high this year with only 8% (129 of 1,541) of submitted abstracts selected for a four-minute podium.  The overall quality of abstract submissions was outstanding, and one of the most challenging aspects of creating a balanced program was the need to decline so many high-quality abstracts, many of which were worthy of podium presentation.  We hope that submitters whose work was not accepted for presentation will recognize the constraints faced in creating a balanced program, with so many great submissions and a limited number of presentation slots, and not be disheartened.  The success and reputation of our Society and Annual Meeting have continued to drive both the volume and quality of submissions to higher levels, and this should be viewed as a tremendous positive. 

Notably, reflective of the growing international reach and representation of the Scoliosis Research Society, podium presenters will hail from 21 different countries and more than one-half of the presenters will be from outside of the United States.  In addition to the four-minute podium presentations, 108 e-posters and 12 case discussions have been accepted for presentation, and competition for acceptance in these categories was remarkably strong as well.

The Education Committee has worked in parallel to create an outstanding educational program that includes the Pre-Meeting Course, Half-Day Courses and multiple Lunchtime Symposia (see report from Theodore Choma, MD; Education Committee Chair). 

I would personally like to thank David Polly, Jr., MD and the other members of the Presidential Line for their support and guidance through this process.  I would also like to thank Ronald Lehman, Jr., MD for his leadership with last year’s Program Committee and his continued support for this year’s meeting.  As always, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Program Committee and ad hoc reviewers who each personally reviewed between 150-200 abstracts.

Registration and housing for our 51st Annual Meeting and Course are currently open (  I look forward to seeing you in Prague!

Chair:  Justin S. Smith, MD, PhD   Committee Members:  Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD; Benny T. Dahl, MD, PhD; James F. Mooney, MD; Lawrence L. Haber, MD; John M. Cardi, MD; David W. Gray, MD; Michael P. Kelly, MD; Han Jo Kim, MD; Tyler Koski, MD; Joshua M. Pahys, MD; Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, MD; Fernando Techy, MD; Muharrem Yazici, MD; Yong Qiu, MD

Education Committee Update

Theodore T. Choma, MD
Education Committee Chair

The Education Committee has been hard at work developing the educational programs (Pre-Meeting Course, Half-Day Courses, and Lunchtime Symposia) for the upcoming Annual Meeting & Course in Prague this September.  With the input of the Presidential Line and the Education Committee, we believe we have educational offerings that will be of interest to all members. 

As a bit of a preview, the theme for the 2016 Pre-Meeting Course will be “Risk Stratification in Deformity Surgery-An Evidence Based Approach”.  We believe that this will be a timely and engaging Pre-Meeting Course with perspectives from different continents, a review of current data on predictors of optimal and suboptimal surgical outcomes, and special foci on pediatric and adult deformity patients. 

We also anticipate an engaging set of Half-Day Courses and Lunchtime Symposia during our meeting in Prague, including treatments of adult deformity, the most impactful recently published papers on spinal deformity, and effecting change in healthcare organizations.  We will also have updates from our Research Grants Committee and the Global Outreach Committee will address safety and value in international spine deformity care.  All in all, we are gratified by the interest and effort our SRS fellows have demonstrated in creating a timely and engaging educational offering during our annual meeting. 

Thanks also to the SRS members who have submitted proposals to the AAOS for ICL’s and symposia.  We await their decisions and will certainly inform the membership of items of interest that may be planned for the AAOS annual meeting coming in 2017. 

I wish to extend a personal thank you to Courtney Kissinger, Senior Education Manager, for all of her hard work and guidance as we seek to continue the legacy of educational excellence of this Society. 

Chair: Theodore T. Choma, MD Committee: Sigurd H. Berven, MD; Justin S. Smith, MD, PhD; Lawrence L. Haber, MD; Mark Weidenbaum, MD; Marinus de Kleuver, MD, PhD; Eric J. Belin, MD; Santiago T. Bosio, MD; Kai Cao, MD, PhD; Jonathan J. Carmouche, MD; Scott C. Nelson, MD; Naveed Yasin, FRCS (Tr & Ortho); Nathan H. Lebwohl, MD; Praveen Mummaneni, MD; Maria Cristina Sacramento Dominguez, MD, PhD; S. Rajasekaran, MD, FRCS, MCh; Richard H. Gross, MD; Yan Wang, MD; Charles H. Crawford III, MD; Paul T. Rubery    , MD; Suken A. Shah, MD

CME Committee Update

Lawrence L. Haber, MD
CME Committee Chair

The Scoliosis Research Society continues to thrive in its commitment to Continuing Medical Education (CME) and maintenance of Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) standards.  We all continue to learn, as we grow and maintain our offerings.  This year we expanded our CME offerings to include journal CME. The membership has done a great overall job of complying with CME requirements and we have seen a continued evolution in planning of events that not only keeps us in line with regulations, but also takes true advantage of the CME process to allow us to put together the best and most impactful offerings.  Lastly, the CME committee continues to function well, even with the growth of responsibilities. 

In conjunction with SRS and the CME committee, Spine Deformity now offers CME credits for articles in each issue.  There are usually three articles per issue designated as CME articles.  These articles are reviewed and chosen by the CME committee.  The entire committee is involved in the process.  To discover which articles have been chosen, go to After reading a CME designated article, the reader is given a four-to-six question quiz.  A score of 100% is required for credit.  However, there is no limit on the amount of times the quiz can be repeated.  After the process is complete, the reader can claim up to 1 CME credit per article.  There is no charge for this service and it is only available to subscribers. 

Our standard method for planning our CME meetings has changed dramatically over the past two years.  A lot of the credit for this success goes to our great staff Courtney Kissinger and Lily Atonio. There is a planning document/process that must be completed for the planning of each meeting.  Much of this process is to identify gaps in knowledge of the membership and objectives for each meeting.  We also discuss ways to evaluate our success at meeting these objectives.  Prior to the planning of CME events, past meeting evaluations are reviewed. Based on communications between the CME Committee, the specific planning committee, education committee and staff, surveys are sent out to targeted groups of members to further delineate potential areas for education or gaps in knowledge.  These targeted groups vary each year and examples include older or younger members, committee members, international members, members that are attending meetings or those that are not.  We vary the targets each time to get a more complete view of the membership’s needs. We also look at morbidity and mortality data, published articles and subjects for which a relatively high number of abstracts are submitted. As a last step in the process, a conference/Web-Ex type call takes place with all planning groups represented. Gap analysis is completed, objectives identified and the planning document is completed for our records. Our Society’s support for this process has been robust and not only does this keep us compliant but it also enables us to use the CME process to offer the best educational programs possible. 

The CME committee continues to function well.  With the addition of journal CME, our responsibilities have grown.  Each member is involved in at least one CME journal article every year.  In addition, we all are involved in reviews of countless abstracts and PowerPoints before CME events.  One area we see room for improvement is the timely submission of PowerPoints and other presentations or abstracts that are requested for review.   By hitting target dates for these requests, we are able to do a much better job of review without last minute stress, email and phone calls.

In summary, SRS and its membership have done a great job of assuming the responsibilities of an ACCME accredited organization.  Our offerings continue to grow.  Violations have been few and most are related to the Product Specific Language policy below.  If we continue on this path, we will be well prepared for our next ACCME review in 2018 as well able to maximize the benefits of our offerings.  

Product-Specific Language Policy (Updated October 14, 2014)

The term “hardware” should not be used in written abstract submissions, oral presentations and E-Poster presentations. The terms “instrumentation,” “implants,” “constructs,” or “montage” should be used instead.

SRS strongly prefers that surgical approaches or specific instrumentation such as “Isola, TSRH, CD, XLIF, DLIF, AxiaLIF, Solera, Vertex, Expedium, Mountaineer, Shilla, VEPTR etc.,” are not used in presentations. These terms should be replaced by a generic description of the instrumentation or technique unless the use of the term directly impacts learners’ understanding of the presentation or data. Instrumentation may also be referred to when the device name is a landmark system that is no longer sold (i.e. Harrington, Cotrel-Dubousset, Luque). Company names and logos must never be used in a presentation.

It is recognized that studies evaluating a device or devices or comparing different devices or techniques may require the use of product or technique names. If a device trade name or industry developed technique using a trademarked name are used in an abstract or presentation, it will be specifically reviewed by the CME Committee for evaluation of any potential conflict of interest. When there is a known potential conflict of interest, an expanded verbal disclosure will be necessary at the time of presentation. Furthermore, if a product name is mentioned, the audience should be informed of why it is necessary to give the name.

Chair: Lawrence L. Haber, MD Committee: Frank J. Schwab, MD; John P. Dormans, MD; Andrew M. Casden, MD; Purnendu Gupta, MD; Michael J. Faloon, MD, MS; Anthony M. Petrizzo, DO; David H. Clements III, MD; Richard Hostin, MD; Samuel K. Cho, MD; Woojin Cho, MD, PhD; Burt Yaszay, MD; Jwalant Mehta, FRCS(Orth); John R. Dimar II, MD

Fellowship Committee Update

Munish C. Gupta, MD
Fellowship Committee Chair

In order to maintain the high standards of SRS membership, the Fellowship Committee rigorously reviews all Candidate, Associate and Active applications for membership in adherence to the polices and bylaws of SRS. The Fellowship Committee then provides their recommendations to the Board of Directors for final approval at the fall and spring Board meetings.

We received an outstanding group of applicants for membership and are pleased to announce our new 2016 Candidate and Associate Fellows:

Candidates (29):

            Syed I. Ahmed, MD, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

            Jun Seok Bae, KOREA

            Brian Brighton, MD, Charlotte, NC

            Aaron J. Buckland, MD, New York, NY

            Alan H. Daniels, MD, Providence, RI

            Bassel G. Diebo, MD, New York, NY (from SYRIA), Research Track

            Bhavuk Garg, MBBS, MS(Ortho), INDIA

            Yazeed Gussous, MD, San Francisco, CA

            Geoffrey Haft, MD, Sioux Falls, SD

            Michael J. Heffernan, MD, New Orleans, LA

            Pooria Hosseini, MD, Moreno Valley, CA

            Yashar Javidan, MD, Sacramento, CA

            Saad A. Khairi, MD, Indianapolis, IN NEURO

            Paul D. Kiely, MCh FRCS, New York, NY

            Jan E. Klamar, MD, Columbus, OH

            Kenny Kwan, MD, HONG KONG

            Domingo Lombao, MD, SPAIN

            John F. Lovejoy, III, MD, Washington, DC

            Amy L. McIntosh, MD, Dallas, TX

            Joshua Murphy, MD, La Jolla, CA

            Robert F. Murphy, MD, Memphis, TN

            Paul Park, MD, Ann Arbor, MI, NEURO

            Lucas Piantoni, MD, ARGENTINA, Research Track

            Selina Poon, MD, New Hyde Park, NY

            Walter P. Samora, III, MD, Columbus, OH

            Khoi D. Than, MD, San Francisco, CA, NEURO

            Rodrigo E. Varela, MD, CHILE

            Michelle C. Welborn, MD, Portland, OR

            Wang Yingsong, MD, CHINA

Associate Fellow (2):

            Ann M. Hayes, PT, DPT, OCS, St. Louis, MO

            Renato Scapucin Sorpreso, BRAZIL

A special congratulations and thank you to our new Active Fellows, who have successfully completed the five-year Candidate process and are now full voting members! (11).   

            Steven S. Agabegi, MD, Cincinnati, OH

            Mirza E. Biscevic, MD, PhD, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

            Samuel K. Cho, MD, New York, NY

            Ilkka J. Helenius, MD, PhD, FINLAND

            Toshiaki Kotani, MD, PhD, JAPAN

            Robert A. Morgan, MD, Minneapolis, MN

            Joshua M. Pahys, MD, Philadelphia, PA

            Martin Repko, MD, PhD, CZECH REPUBLIC

            Wudbhav N. Sankar, MD, Wynnewood, PA

            M. Wade Shrader, MD, Phoenix, AZ

            Mitsuru Yagi, MD, PhD, JAPAN

New Active Fellows accepted through the Fast Track program (1):

            Carlos H. Macaneiro, MD, BRAZIL

New Emeritus Fellows (2):

      Enrique Izquierdo, MD, SPAIN

      Norberto Ventura, MD, PhD, SPAIN

Membership Statistics

The SRS continues to grow at a gradual rate, always focusing on the quality of membership and not necessarily   the quantity. Our membership count as of 5/1/2016 is 1,309 members. We now have 60 countries represented in our membership with approximately 33 percent residing out of the USA.

2015 Morbidity and Mortality Submission:

Thank you to the 884 members that submitted over 44,000 cases to the 2015 online M&M data collection site.

The M&M site for the 2016 reporting year is already open. The same data will be collected in 2016. Please try to stay ahead and enter your M&M data monthly or quarterly to avoid deadline distress.

Our M&M data is available to you for your own research through a Request for Proposal that is located on the Members-Only section of the SRS website under Morbidity and Mortality.

Thank you all for your superior dedication.

Chair: Munish C. Gupta, MD Committee: Douglas C. Burton, MD; Hee Kit Wong, MD; Youssry ElHawary, MD; Michelle Caird, MD

Bylaws and Policies Committee Update

Dilip K. Sengupta, MD
Bylaws and Policies Committee Chair

The Bylaws and Policies Committee is charged with monitoring the bylaws and policies to make certain they are current and consistent with SRS activities. Should a change in bylaws or policies be deemed necessary, the committee is charged with drafting language for approval by the Board of Directors in the case of Policies or the SRS Active Members in the case of Bylaws.

Bylaws are the essential framework for the Society and outline such things as purpose, powers, classes of membership, voting rights, governance structure, terms of office, duties of officers, basic committee information and some legal references that are generally required for non-profit organizations. They are meant to be a lasting document and require majority approval by voting members for any amendments. Therefore, the bylaws generally outline basic requirements in terms of membership and governance, but only general guidelines for accepting new members, electing officers and board members, or appointing committees. Five Standing Committees are outlined in the SRS Bylaws: Education, Fellowship, Program, Bylaws and Policies and Nominating. All other committees are designated by the President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, and may be added, disbanded or changed as leadership determines is necessary based on changing activities within SRS.

The Policies are more of a “working manual” for SRS. In some cases, policies come from board decisions that are made to address a specific issue but will clearly apply to similar or future situations. In other cases, the Bylaws and Policies Committee is asked to develop language for a specific policy in response to a question, request or a change in the way things are done. Policies are meant to be more fluid and change as needed when circumstances or activities change.

Last September, at the request of the Board of Directors, the committee proposed five amendments which were approved by the membership. Three of those made minor changes to governance structure, including amending the Executive Committee to include the President, Immediate Past President, President Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer plus the Education and Research Council Chairs. There was also a change to make Active Fellows who have served as Directors or as Education or Research Council Chairs eligible to be nominated for the office positions of Vice President, Secretary-Elect or Treasurer-Elect. The goal of that change was to be consistent in requiring selection of people who have experience on the Board.

Two amendments added the option for Senior Candidate Fellows, allowing those individuals with twenty years of experience in active practice an option to become Active Fellows after completing requirements for two years of Candidate fellowship instead of five. The final change added the Secretary as an ex-officio member of the Fellowship Committee in order to facilitate better communication between that committee and the Board of Directors.

At their September meeting, at the request of the Board, the committee worked on two policy issues: use of the SRS logo by members and endorsed meetings. Those were presented to the Board for review at their meeting in March. The Board voted at that time to stop endorsing courses due to concerns about possible effect on the SRS brand since SRS has no control over the course and there is an increasing number of requests for endorsement.

The proposal to allow use of the SRS logo by members was approved as follows: “SRS members may use the SRS logo on business cards, letterhead, websites and presentation disclosure slides. The SRS logo may not be used to imply SRS involvement in any course or event.”

Thank you to past chair Karl Rathjen, MD, who led the effort on the amendments to the bylaws and to all of the committee members who contributed to the discussion in September, including 2014-15 Chair Jeffrey Coe, MD.

Chair: Dilip K. Sengupta, MD Past Chair: Karl E. Rathjen, MD Chair Elect: Evalina L. Burger, MD Committee Members: Carl R. St. Remy, MD; Surya Prakesh Rao Voleti, MD; Brian Hsu, MD

Health Policy Committee Update

Gary T. Brock, MD
Health Policy Committee Chair

Greetings from the Health Care Policy and Advocacy Committee. It's been a big year so far with much more on the near horizon! We've had an excellent push to get all 50 state proclamations, acknowledging June as Scoliosis Awareness Month. Our efforts have been boosted by the recent NIH funded study led by Stuart Weinstein, MD, that confirmed once and for (hopefully) all that early brace treatment is effective thereby justifying the importance of early detection.

Research Capitol Hill Days took place on April 14-17. I attended and was accompanied by Stephanie Hazlett, an AAOS lobbyist, and two of our compelling story contributors, supermodels and Victoria Secret Angels, Martha Hunt and Lindsay Ellingson. We were able to visit with nine different Senators, House Congressmen and Congresswomen and their staff regarding the importance of increased funding for NIH grants which ultimately trickles down to fund Orthopedic studies like Dr. Weinstein's BrAIST Study. Our second "ask" was to support the Next Generation Researcher's Act.  We also were able to host a fundraiser that raised $15,000 for Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R) Tennessee. Congresswoman Blackburn has been a big help to AAOS and particularly SRS in sponsoring legislation which requires the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) to include specialty physician input and increase transparency whenever making final recommendations. This is especially important as the USPSTF has agreed to review their previous recommendation AGAINST school screening for scoliosis which has been in place since 2004.

Many previous members of the Health Policy and Advocacy Committee were instrumental in having this position statement reviewed. As the Health Policy and Advocacy Committee chair, I recently attended the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) in Washington, D.C. from May 4-7 as a Board of Specialties (BOS) representative for SRS. During the BOS Health Policy Committee meetings, it was decided to feature Martha and Lindsey in an upcoming edition of AAOS Now. The AAOS Washington staff have also offered their assistance on an ongoing basis to assist with obtaining and publicizing the state proclamations supporting Scoliosis Awareness Month. That will be a huge help. The committee remains available to help SRS President and friend, David W. Polly, Jr. MD, through a rapid response team formed to provide immediate input and guidance if any issues arise that might require a quick external response. We look forward to assisting with the USPSTF review of the importance of early detection for spinal deformity. We have a great team this year and look forward to seeing everyone at the Annual Meeting & Course in Prague!

Chair: Gary T. Brock, MD Committee: Linda P. D’Andrea, MD; Joseph H. Perra, MD; Daniel M. Sciubba, MD; Robert K. Eastlack, MD; D. Raymond Knapp, MD; Mary Lou Oliver, RN, BSN, MSPH; Cody E. Bunger, MD, DMSc, R, Prof; Richard M. Schwend, MD; Daryll C. Dykes, MD, JD, PhD; Jonathan R. Stieber, MD

SRS Angels arrive in Washington, D.C!

Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) teamed up with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery (AAOS) for 2016 Research Capitol Hill Days April 14-17, in Washington, D.C., to present actual patients to members of Congress in an effort to highlight the importance of Orthopedic research. This annual event is a special time for Congressmen, Congresswomen, Senators and their staff to visit firsthand with the very constituents they represent. This year’s event was especially timely with the request supported by AAOS and SRS for NIH funding to be increased from 32 billion dollars to 34.5 billion dollars. Much of Orthopedic research funding is channeled through NIH grants. 

Each society is asked to bring along a patient with a story to tell. Gary T. Brock, MD, chair of Health Care Policy and Advocacy for SRS, from Houston, TX, had an idea to create a little excitement in DC! In reviewing the patient stories featured on the SRS website this year, two young ladies, who both happened to be Victoria Secret Angels and Supermodels, submitted their stories about dealing with scoliosis as adolescents and beyond. Dr. Brock approached both women about representing SRS, advocating for patients with scoliosis and both agreed to participate! AAOS lobbyist, Stephanie Hazlett, and SRS staff arranged for the itineraries to work out for these busy world travelers. Martha Hunt is a current Angel who was recently featured in Taylor Swift’s song Bad Blood. She and her professional photographer husband came up with many of the ideas in the video. Lindsay Ellingson is a “retired” Angel who was very proud of carrying the heaviest wings at the Victoria Secret Angel Runway Show each of her eight participating years despite her scoliosis surgery. Lindsay is currently promoting her new line of cosmetics featured in Sephora stores around the country.

It was a busy day in Washington, D.C. with visits to the offices of Representatives Bill Flores, John Culberson, Henry Cuellar, and John Carter from Texas and Carolyn Maloney from New York along with all four senators from Texas and New York, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. A fundraiser for Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee raised over $15,000 that evening featuring “Marsha and the Supermodels”. 

At 6 foot 1 inches, Dr. Brock said it was the first time he ever got into an elevator with three women (Martha, Lindsay and Stephanie) where he was the shortest person in the elevator!  The ladies did a magnificent job telling their stories to each of the offices and many photos were taken. They articulated the difficulties facing young ladies with a potentially debilitating and frightening condition that required life altering surgery. Although they were grateful for the work of their surgeons, both were strong advocates for future research that might allow for earlier and more successful intervention for non-operative treatment of scoliosis patients and improved techniques where surgery remains the most compelling option. 

Despite traveling to many of the most beautiful and exotic destinations on Earth, both of our Angels were profoundly touched by the experience. Lindsay commented, “This was a team effort unlike any other I’ve ever been a part of. I was so inspired by the patient advocates, doctors and researchers that I met. Research Capitol Hill Day was the most important event I’ve ever been a part of. It was an honor to share my story with the many Congressmen, Congresswomen, Senators and their staff. They were mostly supportive of our asks and genuinely interested in our stories. I really felt like we made a difference. We were a great team!”

Martha added, “I have always found Capitol Hill to be fascinating. Since my everyday world is consumed with fashion and photo shoots, it never dawned on me that I could be a part of the conversations happening in Congress! Now, I can encourage anyone to be proactive by advocating for any issue that they feel passionate about at Capitol Hill. It was such a rewarding feeling to be involved with AAOS and SRS at Research Capitol Hill Day and one that I hope to return to every year that SRS will have me back!”

Advocacy matters. Congress needs input from real life patients, doctors and researchers. Thank you to all of the participants, particularly our patients who took time from their own busy schedules to advocate for the care of others with similar conditions. Angels? Yes, they are.  

Awards and Scholarships Committee Update

Ian J. Harding, BA, FRCS (Orth)
Awards & Scholarships Committee Chair

The Awards and Scholarships Committee has been busy assessing and offering the majority of the awards offered by SRS including the Lifetime Achievement and Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Awards as well as the Edgar G. Dawson, Eduardo R. Luque, Robert B. Winter, Global Outreach Program and OrthoPediatrics fellowships/scholarships. The geographical spread of awards was truly worldwide and the applications were numerous (130) and strong.

A new Asia-Pacific Scholarship has been kindly funded by Depuy-Synthes and is to be awarded in the coming weeks along with a second Medtronic award towards spinal research. Please help spread the news of the amazing opportunity the Asia-Pacific Scholarship provides. Two promising young surgeons will participate in a year-long fellowship with three-to-four SRS hosts to optimize their education, knowledge, clinical research acumen and technical skills in the field. Individuals may apply here,

Further sponsorships towards awards have kindly been received from NuVasive and Globus Medical. The committee will meet at the Annual Meeting & Course in Prague and decide how best to allocate these funds in the future.

Lifetime Achievement Award

John E. Lonstein, MD  – (USA) Twin Cities Spine Center/Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare,  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Harry L. Shufflebarger, MD  – (USA) Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami, Florida

Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award

David Spiegel, MD – (USA) Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Edgar G. Dawson Fellowship

Jeffrey L. Gum, MD – (USA) Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, Kentucky

Steven W. Hwang, MD – (USA) Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, MD – (USA) St. Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Center, Kansas City, Missouri

Robert B. Winter Global Outreach Fellowship

Shashidhar Bangalore Kantharajanna, MD  – (India) Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru

SRS Medtronic Research Fellowship

So Kato, MD – (Canada) Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario

SRS Traveling Fellows 2016

Brice Ilharreborde, MD, PhD – (France) Robert Debré Hospital, Paris

Bangping Qian, MD – (China) Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing

Kota Watanabe, MD, PhD  – (Japan) Keio University, Tokyo

Keith D K  Luk, MD* – (China) The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

*senior traveling fellow

Complete list of 2016 Winners

The SRS Travelling Fellows, under the guidance of Professor Keith Luk will be traveling around North America in June and July. Please welcome them on their travels or follow along with the social media hashtag #SRSTravelingFellows.

June 21 – June 25: Rady Children’s Hospital and Scripps Health - San Diego

June 25 – June 30: SickKid’s Hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and University of Toronto- Toronto

June 30 – July 6: Columbia University Medical Center, Allen Hospital - New York City

July 6 – July 13: University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - Philadelphia

Chair: Ian J. Harding, BA, FRCS (Orth) Committee: Hani Mhaidli, MD, PhD; Ferran Pellisé Urquiza, MD, PhD; Justin S. Smith, MD, PhD; Michael Rosner, MD; Hooman M. Melamed, MD; Jochen P. Son-Hing, MD, FRCSC; Theodore A. Wagner, MD; Elias Dakwar, MD; Ozgur Dede, MD; Ketan S. Khurjekar, MS, DNB, MCH; Ibrahim A. Omeis, MD; Hui-Ren Tao, MD, PhD; Jeffrey S. Kanel, MD; Kan Min, MD; Ram Mudiyam, MD, MBA; Russ P. Nockels, MD; Michael T. Hresko, MD; Frank LaMarca, MD; Surya Prakash Rao Voleti, MS, DNB; Stefan Parent, MD, PhD

Globalization Committee Update

Lawrence G. Lenke, MD
Globalization Committee Chair

The Globalization Committee (GC) is very proud to announce a unique educational program geared for young, aspiring spinal deformity surgeons, the SRS Asia Pacific Spinal Deformity Scholarship Program.  With funding provided by Depuy-Synthes Spine,  this unique SRS program will provide two young Spinal Deformity surgeons with an unparalleled opportunity to visit two-to-three experienced Spinal Deformity Centers during a year-long intensive program to optimize their education, knowledge, clinical research acumen and particularly, technical skills in the field. 

Two young (<5 years into practice) spinal surgeons will be selected from a country in the Asia-Pacific (A-P) region. Preference will be given to current SRS Candidate Members, but this will not be mandatory for application (although it will be assumed that SRS Candidate Membership will occur as a result of the program).  Applicants for this prestigious program will be sought out and recommended by SRS country representatives in the A-P region countries where SRS members exist (N=12 current countries), as well as by the two A-P Regional Liaisons Hee-Kit Wong, MD and Noriaki Kawakami, MD, DMSc.  Applicants will be required to submit an application form and provide two letters of reference from SRS members familiar with their work. They will be required to spend an entire year traveling on this program to two or three different centers worldwide and thus must consider this prior to applying.

Any active SRS member from any country can nominate his/her center as a potential host center for these A-P scholarship recipients. They must be able to host the recipient for a four-to-six month period of intensive experience in spinal deformity surgery. A call for applications for this program will be sent to all active SRS members and an application form, which will include the number of attending surgeons participating, overall annual spinal deformity surgical volume, local educational conferences available to the recipient, distinction between observation vs. ability to assist in surgery, will be listed among other criteria. Review and selection of the potential host centers for this program will be conducted by the eight Regional Liaisons (A-P, Europe, Latin America, Africa/Middle East) along with the GC chair. Preference will be given to centers with proven educational training programs comprised of experienced SRS members (Active and Candidate.)    Funds will be available to defray the travel, housing and living costs for the program.

Chair: Lawrence G. Lenke, MD Committee: Noiaki Kawakami, MD, DMSc; Hee-Kit Wong, MD; David S. Marks, FRCS; Francisco Sanchez Perez-Grueso, MD; Carlos A. Tello, MD; Osmar Avanzi, MD; Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD; Robert Dunn, FCS (SA) Orth

Worldwide Courses Update

Marinus de Kleuver, MD, PhD
Worldwide Course Committee Chair

Looking back at 2015:
2015 was a very busy year for the Worldwide Courses (WWC) with seven conferences around the world.

The WWC is proud to co-organize six conferences in 2016. These conferences are an integral part of the SRS educational efforts across the globe, and are a sign of our commitment to foster optimal care for spinal deformity patients globally.

For more information please visit

2016 Worldwide Course Locations and Dates

Recent conferences

April 8, 2016: England, Nottingham
A half day course in Nottingham, at BritSpine was hosted by Hossein Mehdian, MD, FRCS(Ed) and Nasir Quraishi, FRCS and co-chaired by Benny Dahl, MD, PhD, DMSci

April 9-10, 2016: China, Nanjing
A day and a half course in Nanjing, in conjunction with the Chinese SRS, and hosted by Qiu Yong, MD. The event went very well, with lectures given by Chinese and international faculty to a large audience, with excellent interaction and discussion.

May 27-28, 2016: Moscow, Russia
A two day course intograted with the Russian Association of Spine Surgeon and co-chaired by Sergey Kolesov, MD, PhD and David Clement, MD.

Future events

  • Bali, Indonesia – August 11-12, 2016
  • Vina del Mar, Chile – November 16-17, 2016
  • Kyoto, Japan – November 17-19, 2016

Educational Task Force:

The SRS Board of Directors has set up an educational task force to look at our worldwide education. One of the aims is to develop a curriculum that we can use as a framework for all worldwide courses.  Several committee members are closely involved.

Our committee is working hard to disseminate the knowledge of spinal deformity all around the world and we are hoping to develop new projects and improve our global educational activities for our Society’s mission to foster optimal care for spinal deformity patients globally.

Chair: Marinus de Kleuver, MD, PhD Committee: Ferran Pellisé Urquiza, MD, PhD; Theodore T. Choma, MD; Saumyajit Basu, MD; Laurel C. Blakemore, MD; Alpaslan Senkoylu, MD; Ravi S. Bains, MD; Ibrahim Obeid, MD; Martin Repko, MD, PhD; Ahmed M. Shawky, MD, PhD; Anuj Singla, MD; Senthilnathan Thirugnana, MBBS, MS (Ortho); Zezhang Zhu, MD, PhD; Benny T. Dahl, MD, PhD, DMSci; Luis E. Munhoz da Rocha, MD; Yong Qiu, MD;Haluk R. Berk, MD; David S. Marks, FRCS; Rajiv K. Sethi, MD   

New England Journal of Medicine

On April 14, 2016 the New England Journal of Medicine post two articles about results of laminectomy and laminectomy and fusion for lumbar stenosis and lumbar spondylolisthesis.

You can read the two article below:

  1. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Fusion Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  2. Laminectomy plus Fusion versus Laminectomy Alone for Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

Growing Spine Committee Update

Robert P. Huang, MD
Growing Spine Committee Chair

The Growing Spine Committee is charged with SRS membership education, improving patient care, and patient and family education as it relates to the multiple facets of Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS). We are working diligently with the Website and CME committees to bring SRS webinars to the SRS membership. Our first webinar will be spearheaded by James O. Sanders, MD on the role of EDF casting in EOS.

A new family and patient educational white board animation has been developed, with the support of Growing Spine Foundation, Children’s Spine Foundation, POSNA, and SRS. Please go to the SRS website under the EOS heading in the patient education portion of the SRS website to watch the video.

We are undertaking the task of updating and revising the EOS white paper to reflect the current, modern day practice in the care of EOS patients. Christina K. Hardesty, MD has taken the lead on organizing and revising the EOS white paper with the help and contribution of all of the members of the Growing Spine Committee.

Finally, under the direction of doctors Matthew D. Hepler, MD and Nigel J. Price, MD, the Coding and Growing Spine Committees will put forth coding vignettes as it pertains to common coding scenarios for EOS surgery.

We look forward to on-going and future collaborations with all of the stakeholders who take care of children with EOS to improve patient care and family education. Any thoughts, comments, and/or suggestions would be most welcome.

Chair: Robert P. Huang, MD Committee: John T. Smith, MD; Ron El-Hawary, MD; John B. Emans, MD; Mehmet B. Balioglu, MD; Paloma Bas Hermida, MD; Mazda Farshad, MD, MPH; David P. Gurd, MD; Christina K. Hardesty, MD; Antonio Hurtado, MD; Chang Ju Hwang, MD, PhD; Feng Zhu, MD; Scott J. Luhmann, MD; Francisco Sanchez Perez-Grueso, MD; John G. Thometz, MD; Nigel J. Price, MD; Amer F. Samdani, MD; James O. Sanders               , MD; Andre Luis F. Andujar, MD; Theresa Bas, MD, PhD; Jeff B. Pawelek; Peter F. Sturm, MD

Patient Education Committee Update

Jonathan H. Phillips, MD
Patient Education Committee Chair

The Patient Education Committee is charged with the review and development of new patient educational materials.  In addition, with the large revamping of our website underway, we are responsible for reviewing the content as it pertains to patient education.  Finally, we function as an outreach to other groups that provide education to patients.

The Early Onset Scoliosis Handbook has been completed.

The Neuromuscular Scoliosis Handbook has had four edits.  It has been combined and edited and has been sent to the Presidential Line for review.

The first draft of the Sagittal Deformity Handbook has been completed and is in the process of editing.  A selected group will be working on these initial stages before it is resubmitted to the committee. 

Clarification is going to be obtained regarding coordinating the age-appropriate educational material with the Growing Spine Committee as there is a need to define for what age this material is intended.

The committee has discussed the greater patient education and advocacy for scoliosis awareness month and whether it should move the month from June to the month closer to the start date of school.

A list of seven questions were collated from the suggested questions and sent to the committee members.  The members have been requested to administer the questionnaire to ten families and to send feedback as soon as possible.  The questionnaire will then be refined and sent to the Presidential Line. 

Chair Jonathan H. Phillips, MD Committee:  Craig P. Eberson, MD, Matthew J. Mermer, MD, Pier Paolo Mura, MD, Alexandre F. Cristante, MD, G. Ying Li, MD, Raphael M. Marcon, MD, Masood Shafafy, MD, David W. Gray, MD, Samuel A. Joseph, Jr, MD, Kevin M. Neal, MD, Hossein Mehdian, MD, Sanjeev Suratwala, MD.

Adult Deformity Committee Update

Michael O. LaGrone, MD
Adult Deformity Committee Chair

The Adult Deformity Committee is involved in a variety of important projects. We have ongoing projects from previous years as well as two new projects.

First, a brief listing of our committee’s recently completed tasks (no further action planned):

  • “Results of 2014 Scoliosis Research Society Surgeon Survey on Adult Spinal Deformity Cost and Sustainability”. Project lead by Lloyd Hey. Manuscript submitted to “Spine”.
  • Adult Deformity Review Paper submitted to “Spine Deformity”.
  • PJK/PJF: Two papers (survey and review) published in “Spine”.
  • 1 vs. 2-surgeon project: survey done, review completed and manuscript submitted to “Spine”.

Ongoing Projects

Sagittal Balance Pamphlet:
A rough draft has been sent to the Education Committee for synthesis. The Adult Deformity Committee will then review it before sending it to the Presidential Line and Board of Directors for final approval.

Shared Decision Making:
The goal is to produce a consensus document/template for surgeons to use when counseling patients about the risk/benefits of adult deformity surgery. What initially seemed like a fairly straight-forward process, has become much more complex and interesting as we learn more about risk stratification, shared decision-making and informed consent. Although related, shared decision-making and informed consent are not the same. With risk stratification (through consensus and various databases), shared decision making will lead to better informed consent.

New Projects

Cervical Spine:
We are reviewing adult cervical deformity and the role of the cervical spine in adult spinal deformity with the goal of providing a reference for surgeons regarding current concepts and controversies.

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)
Our goal is to develop a review paper on the role of MIS in adult deformity surgery based on literature review and consensus opinion. SRS members should have received a survey, which was sent out to gauge the prevalence of MIS use in adult deformity surgery.

These are all exciting and very important projects that we hope will provide useful information to our adult deformity surgeons. Our ultimate goal is to increase patient safety and improve outcomes in a cost effective manner with full patient participation in the decision making process.

Chair: Michael O. LaGrone, MD Committee: Michael D. Daubs, MD; Kenneth J. Paonessa, MD; Rodrigo A. Amaral, MD; Samuel S. Bederman, MD, PhD, FRCSC; Jung-Hee Lee, MD, PhD; Gabriel K.P. Liu, FRCS(Orth), MSC; Nasir Ali Quraishi, FRCS; Jonathan N. Sembrano, MD; Khalid M.S. Swailem, MD; Shu-Hua Yang, MD, PhD; Ram Mudiyam, MD, MBA; Yutaka Sasao, MD, PhD; Evalina L. Burger, MD; Gregory M. Mundis, MD; Neel Anand, MD; Stephen J. Lewis, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Save the Dates for 2016 SRS Meetings!

To view future SRS meetings and other spine associations and societies' meeting, visit

Mark your calendars for the following future meetings:

23rd IMAST: July 13-16, 2016 – Washington, D.C. USA
Marriott Marquis in Washington D.C., USA
Registration Closes: June 15, 2016

51st Annual Meeting & Course: September 21-24, 2016 – Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Congress Centre
Registration Opens: April 15, 2016
Registration Closes: August 20, 2016

2016 Spine Deformity Solutions: A Hands-On Course Schedule

7th Spine Deformity Solutions: A Hands-On Course
From the Asia Pacific Spine Society and the Scoliosis Research Society
October 28-30, 2016 • Hong Kong

SRS Worldwide Conferences

Bali, Indonesia
In conjunction with Indonesian Spine Society
August 11-12, 2016

Santiago, Chile
In conjunction with Chilean Spine Society
November 16-17, 2016

Kyoto, Japan
In conjunction with Japanese Scoliosis Society 50th Anniversary Meeting
November 17-19, 2016