President's Message

I am honored to assume the presidency of this incredible organization.  I would like to thank my predecessors on the Presidential Line, Past Presidents Ken Cheung, David Polly, and John Dormans and President Elect Peter Newton, who have helped guide me and partnered with me through these last years leading up to my presidency.  Their work and dedication to the society, along with those who work in the office under Tressa Goulding's oversight, is amazing to me and unlike any I have seen in a volunteer organization.  We should all be lucky to have them in our midst.

These are exciting times for our society to fulfill the overarching mission of leadership in spinal deformity and the patients we care for.  There is much to contribute to both education and to research.  I call upon every member to offer their service in whatever way suits them.  There are multiple opportunities in our educational efforts at the committee level, the volunteer level, in writing and in advocacy.  It requires a contribution of time, effort, and intellect from each one of us to continue to make our society even greater than it stands today.  In education, our two premier offerings include the Annual Meeting and IMAST.  This year, IMAST will be held in Los Angeles with a terrific program being created by Ron Lehman and Henry Halm, the Co-Chairs of the IMAST Committee.  Our Annual Meeting will be held in Bologna, Italy, a superb city, and gastronomic capital of Italy.  Again, there will be a wonderful academic program with excellent additional symposia, a pre-meeting course being put together by Suken Shah and the Education Committee.  I thank them for their time and effort on these important meetings.

The Educational Task Force instituted by Ken Cheung over a year ago has made exceptional progress with the help of consultant Joe Green in templating the way our education could be delivered in a consistent fashion.  Our goal over the next year is to begin to invoke this in our educational offerings, e-textbook, and through the Spinal Deformity Journal.  There will be organized curricula for spinal deformity that we will be able to fill in with our educational offerings throughout the world.  It will include offerings from the most basic needs of some of our members around the world to sophisticated educational offerings for advanced spinal deformity.

Our research will continue to offer both a top down and bottom up approach so that our members will be able to obtain grant support for projects that may ultimately lead to larger funding possibilities.  We will target both direct requests for important needs such as adult deformity and prediction of growth remaining as well as value analysis in spinal deformity.  All members are invited and encouraged to submit grants to be awarded on a merit basis.

There will also be offerings defined by leadership for earmarked funding for those topics felt to be most important for our membership and spinal deformity.  This year, those will likely include increasing publications related to the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) that was supported by the SRS on adult degenerative lumbar spinal deformity and potentially another AUC related to degenerative spondylolisthesis.  These projects will likely take a few years to come to fruition and some may be added over time as the leadership changes and evolves in its thinking.

There is a tremendous amount happening within the SRS around the world related to our patients, to the care we render and the ability to improve their lives.  We continue to invoke a distributive leadership model where our council and committee chairs have more voice and ownership of their councils and committees respectively.  I encourage every one of you to become involved in some way in improving our society and improving the ability for us to care for those with spinal deformities from birth to older age.

If you have any ideas or comments, never hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to seeing each of you over the course of the year and working together to improve our wonderful society.


Todd J. Albert, MD
SRS President 2017-2018


Min Mehta, FRCS
November 1, 1926 - August 23, 2017

Min Mehta, FRCS, the courageous and groundbreaking pioneer in the field of infantile scoliosis, died Wednesday, August 23, 2017 in London, England. She was 90 years of age.  Dr. Mehta knew her destiny was to be a physician by age 6. She was diagnosed with juvenile scoliosis herself. Her own severe deformity helped forge her indomitable spirit into helping others, especially those with infantile scoliosis.

Born in Iran on November 1st, 1926, Dr. Mehta attended medical school in Calcutta, India and did three years of surgical training there before moving to Britain to gain further training. In the 1950's, women faced enormous difficulties securing positions needed to advance in medicine, especially in surgery.  She humbly yet boldly persevered.  She finally landed a position in London, incredibly, because they mistook her name for a man’s!

Her drive, commitment and fearlessness drove her onward, despite the odds. In 1968, she was only the second woman in history to be awarded the prestigious Robert Jones Prize and Gold Medal in Orthopaedics, for her original work on "A Study of Infantile Scoliosis."

In 1969, Dr. Mehta moved back to India to work in the major teaching hospitals in New Delhi and Calcutta.  During this time, she also volunteered to help children with Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  In 1974, Dr. Mehta moved back to London as a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Research at the Institute of Orthopaedics, University of London, and as the Chief of Orthopedic Surgery.  Dr. Mehta retired in 1992, but continued her clinical appointment at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital until 2002.

Dr. Mehta’s landmark article on the result of 25 years of study and treatment of children with infantile scoliosis, was published in Sept. 2005 in the British Volume of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. She was invited to the U.S. by the Infantile Scoliosis Outreach Program 10 times, at 10 different hospitals, to train her fellow pioneering American orthopedists on how to apply her corrective casting method.

She enjoyed taking walks in the evening, she was an avid reader, and she enjoyed driving her Mini Cooper around England.  Min was predeceased by her beloved parents and is survived by her brother Meher Mehta and his wife Tina, her niece Ava Mehta Jamooji and her great nieces Tishtrya and Dynara Jamooji, one who attends Oxford, the other Cambridge.  She is also beloved by her scoliosis family, including the countless babies and children she has altered the course of their lives for the better.


Ernest Letourneau, MD, CCBOM, DSc
March 14, 1937 - June 22, 2016

Ernest Letourneau, an Honorary Fellow of SRS passed away on June 22, 2016 at the age of 79. He was best known for his work on Radium and its link to cancer.

Born in St-Eustache, Manitoba on March 14th, 1937, Dr. Letourneau obtained his Baccalaureate of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 1958. A year of pre-medical studies qualified him for admission to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba in 1959, where he received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1963. His medical training was completed by a year of internship at the General Hospital of St. Boniface.

His medical training and the Canadian Air Force brought him to Marville, France in 1964. Upon his return to Canadian lands in 1967, he began a career with the Department of Health and Welfare. In addition to leading the Radiation Protection Bureau, Dr. Letourneau gained international experience and expertise. He was also a very active researcher, as evidenced by many publications in specialized journals both in Canada and abroad.

Dr. Letourneau sat on numerous committees as well as commissions and was also a member of many professional organizations and associations, including SRS.

2017-2018 Committee Leadership

Congratulations and a warm welcome to the following SRS members on their appointments as committee chairs for 2017-2018.

Stephen J. Lewis, MD, MSc, FRCSC - Adult Deformity Committee
M. Timothy Hresko, MD - Awards & Scholarships Committee
Evalina L. Burger, MD - Bylaws & Policies Committee
David H. Clements, III, MD - CME Committee
Barton L. Sachs, MD, MBA, CPE - Coding Committee
Vidyadhara Srinivasa, MS, DNB, FNB (Spine) - Communications Committee
Laurel C. Blakemore, MD - Core Curriculum Task Force
Kenneth MC Cheung, MD - Corporate Relations Committee
Rick C. Sasso, MD - Development Committee
Suken A. Shah, MD - Education Committee
Kenneth MC Cheung, MD - Education Task Force
Amer F. Samdani, MD - E-Text Committee
Kamal N. Ibrahim, MD, FRCS(C), MA - Ethics & Professionalism Committee
David W. Polly, Jr., MD - FDA Task Force
Youssry M.K. Elhawary, MD - Fellowship Committee
J. Abbott Byrd, III, MD - Finance Committee
J. Michael Wattenbarger, MD - Global Outreach Committee
James O. Sanders, MD - Growing Spine Committee
Richard M. Schwend, MD - Health Policy Committee
George H. Thompson, MD - Historical Committee
Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD - IMAST Committee
Henry F.H. Halm, MD - IMAST Committee
Kenneth MC Cheung, MD - Long Range Planning Committee
Jeffery D. Thomson, MD - Morbidity & Mortality Committee
Kenneth MC Cheung, MD - Nominating Committee
Howard M. Place, MD - Non-Operative Management Committee
Sanjeev J. Suratwala, MD, FACS, FAAOS - Patient Education Committee
Michael G. Vitale, MD, MPH - Pediatric Device Task Force Joint Project Team with POSNA
Gregory M. Mundis, Jr., MD - Program Committee
Leah Yacat Carreon, MD, MSc - Research Grant Committee
Michael G. Vitale, MD, MPH - Safety & Value Committee
Andre Luis F. Andujar, MD - Translation Committee
Todd Milbrandt, MD - Website Committee
Benny T. Dahl, MD, PhD, DMSci - Worldwide Course Committee
John R. Dimar, II, MD - Education Council
J. Abbott Byrd, III, MD - Finance Council 
Mark Weidenbaum, MD - Governance Council
Frank J. Schwab, MD - Research Council


Member Submission: Medical Device Regulation

Introduction from Todd J. Albert, MD, SRS President 2017-2018:
In May 2017, the new Medical Device Regulation (MDR) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union marking the start of a new era of regulatory policy for medical devices in Europe. In this issue SRS member Bill Horton, scoliosis surgeon and a member with experience in industry helps explain the implications of this changing regulatory landscape.


As an international organization, SRS seeks to keep members updated on global events that may impact our Society, individual members, and our patients.  In May 2017, the new Medical Device Regulation (MDR) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union, marking the start of a new era of regulatory policy for medical devices in Europe that may directly or indirectly impact our membership, SRS, our sponsoring industry partners, and most importantly may affect access to new innovation for some patients.   

The MDR introduces a new regulation across the EU for getting a device or implantable technology approved for clinical use and to maintain its availability to patients over time.  While these changes have been contemplated for years, recent high-profile safety challenges in Europe (e.g. breast implants or metal-on-metal hip implants) have helped propel the process and shape the new environment.  MDR is aimed at strengthening the regulatory framework for medical devices and is expected to have a major impact on the entire medical device industry, introducing new and substantial requirements. Among the goals of the MDR are (1) to improve patient safety and access to relevant device information, (2) increase the evidence required to establish device safety and performance, and (3) increase public access to information that provides assurance of safety, performance and high quality.   

The MDR, which replaces the Medical Devices Directive (MDD) and Active Implantable Medical Devices Directive (AIMD), spans the entire EU and has a transition period of three years, so the effects are starting now and will peak by 2020 as manufacturers work to update their technical documentation and processes to meet these new regulations. Examples of some new requirements in the MDR include (1) more enforcement of advertising and labeling claims, (2) prohibition of reprocessing of single use devices, (3) inability to gain regulatory clearance by using an “equivalent” competitive predicate device, (4) substantially greater  clinical evidence requirements for approval and enhanced post-market surveillance with clinical data,  and importantly (5) the potential up-classification of meshes and devices in contact with the spinal column, the heart or central circulatory system.  The MDR requirements also impact other key stakeholders like importers, distributors, Notified Bodies and National Health Authorities.   

How could this possibly affect you or your patients?  Here are a few examples:

  1. In the EU, MDR will make it much harder to bring new devices into the market so there may be longer delays to introduce a new technology. Some devices currently available may not remain available in the future if the manufacturer cannot generate sufficient data or justify the added expense of meeting the new requirements.
  2. Due to the increased need for clinical data in the future, both surgeons and patients in the EU will increasingly be asked to participate in EU clinical studies now being required for regulatory approval. There will likely be increasing opportunities to participate in clinical studies, and your hospital or clinic may be recruited to gather data either for new approval studies or ongoing post market surveillance. Patients will need to cooperate with this increasing data collection as well, and lack of surgeon or patient participation may jeopardize access to innovation. There is still discussion among Regulators globally about the potential to leverage data from other regions of the world, which could theoretically affect both surgeons and patients from non-EU countries in the future.
  3. Device companies now face significant increase in costs for these new clinical studies and requirements, which could result in effects like - (a) increased cost for some devices, (b) withdrawal of certain devices from the market, (c) smaller companies may no longer being able to support an EU market presence, or (d) there may be less industry funds available for other activities like Professional Education or general support of professional Societies.
  4. For any surgeons globally who are involved in product development, the new MDR requirements and costs should be realistically considered as part of the effort and  investment necessary to gain approval and maintain a product in the EU market.
  5. Certain devices like spinal cages now potentially face up-classification which means that new burdens of proof may be required to maintain these in the EU markets. The details of this is still being debated, but if it is enacted, this may impact the ability to promote or teach these techniques as “approved” or “on label’ in the EU. Paradoxically, this trend follows shortly after the FDA has recently down-classified devices like these in the US.

The MDR ultimately seeks to improve patient care, transparency and safety - which are goals we all support. One of the positive outcomes of this will be a growing bank of clinical data regarding the safety and effectiveness of devices and treatments.  Challenges may arise with the implementation and resources required as regulators, industry, and the entire medical community work through the transition up to 2020. There are some benefits and drawbacks that may affect SRS and our membership either directly or indirectly, and this information regarding MDR is provided to inform our membership and raise awareness. If you would like further information please contact Shawn Storey, Website & Program Manager, at or visit the Official Journal of the European Union website (e.g. REGULATION (EU) 2017 – EUR-Lex).

Governance Council Update

Mark Weidenbaum, MD
Governance Council Chair

Greetings and Happy Holidays to all! The SRS Secretary is the Chair for the Governance Council which includes the following Committees: Awards and Scholarships, Bylaws and Policies, Coding, Ethics and Professionalism, Fellowship, Global Outreach, Health Policy and Historical. Each of these vibrant Committees are important contributors to our Society.

Recently, under the guidance of the SRS Presidential Line and Board of Directors, the SRS has started to carefully embrace the world of digital media. In 2016, Marcus John, a creative director and fashion stylist, approached SRS with several very creative proposals focused on using digital media to raise awareness, empower, and educate the public about spinal deformity. Once approved by the Leadership, this effort came under the purview of the Health Policy Committee and numerous members of the SRS staff have been actively involved. SRS partnered with Marcus and his nonprofit organization, the StraightForward Foundation (#IAmStraightForward), for mutual benefit: Marcus has used his artistic creativity and network of contacts in fashion and design to help raise awareness about spinal deformity and to let people know about SRS on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In return, SRS has provided seed funding as well as professional guidance to keep the message focused and accurate.

This year’s campaign began with eight scoliosis patients who attended a professional photo shoot in June. These patients and their photos/biographies were then featured at a Gallery Opening in New York City on 9/11/17. Included in the group were two Victoria’s Secrets Angels, one young boy, a woman who was nine months pregnant, a professional dancer, a retired teacher, an activist, and a recent college graduate, all of whom had compelling stories. Several hundred people attended the opening and many others visited the photo gallery during the following week. This event was featured in a Huffington Post article on October 6, 2017.

Many ideas are in the works and SRS is very excited about this bold new effort. Although this year’s inaugural activities took place in NYC, the plan is to take this effort nationally and internationally. We look forward to continuing this collaboration in order to better reach to our patients via the digital space.

Photos from the 9/11/17 Straightforward Gala:

Dr. Todd Albert, Lily Atonio, Christina Liedtke, Marcus John, Tressa Goulding, Dr. Mark Weidenbaum

Follow the campaign on social media with #IAmStraightForward.

Research Council Update

Frank J. Schwab, MD
Research Council Chair

The Research Council comprises six committees (now includes the Safety and Value committee) which meet regularly and report to the Board and Presidential Line. The following is an update on activities in each of the committees:

Adult Deformity

  • The committee is finishing a booklet on sagittal alignment and one on cervical deformity. A survey was completed on rod failure and management strategies, results will be analyzed and disseminated.

Growing Spine

  • A webinar was done last December on casting and was well received.
  • A series of new webinar topics are in the works for the coming year.


  • Ease of entering data is being pursued: Could this become a mobile app, or can bulk EMR upload be considered?
  • Several good data analysis requests were submitted to the committee for review

Non-Operative Management

  • A response to the recent ‘I’ ruling from USPSTF was submitted, awaiting a response.
  • A lunchtime symposium is being prepared with SOSORT for Annual Meeting in Bologna.

Research Grants

  • A major change to the review scoring system is underway and will be implemented this cycle.
  • Possible creation of a Research TF (similar to the Education TF)
    • Output/ROI of grant recipients
    • Defining grants better for members to optimize submissions, goals

Safety and Value

  • The committee is working on developing webinar proposals to submit to the Education Committee
  • A set of core measures are being developed that represent a quality and value program for members to implement in their practice settings

Education Council Update

John R. Dimar, II, MD
Education Council Chair

The Education Council Chair’s responsibility is to coordinate the various committees under their purview to develop a cohesive and progressive educational program with the major assistance of the SRS staff and then coordinate the initiatives with the Presidential Line for approval. There has been a recent reorganization of the committees reporting to the chair following the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia with the current committees reporting to this position being the Program, IMAST, E-Text, Education, World Wide Course (WWC), CME, & Education Task Force Committees. These committees have worked together to fulfil the new guidelines for CME planning via Gap Analysis and Backward Planning to create the society’s new Core Curriculum and educational course structure that consists of IMAST, the Annual Meeting, the various World Wide Courses (3-5 Yearly), Spine Deformity Solutions: A Hands-On Course (biannual), and the new SRS organized Current Concepts in Spine Deformity (2 Yearly) that incorporate the new SRS Branded Core Curriculum developed by the Core Curriculum Task Force led by Laurel Blakemore. The World Wide Courses, Hands-On Courses, and Current Concept Courses are all coordinated by Benny Dahl and the WWC committee. The first two Current Concept Courses were held in Prague, Czech Republic and Shenzhen, People's Republic of China and were very successful. Subsequent courses will be held in Bordeaux, France and Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018. One of the society’s new initiatives is the development of an annual SRS Course Chair Development Program for our new course chairs to enhance their educational skills, with the first training session being held in December 2017.

I hope that many of you had an opportunity to attend this year’s IMAST meeting in Cape Town and the Annual Meeting & Course in Philadelphia. They offered superb educational opportunities and were the product of the creative efforts of the IMAST committee led by Ron Lehman and Henry Halm, the Program Committee led by Muharrem Yazici, and the Education Committee led by Praveen Mummaneni.  All of the meetings provided the latest knowledge updates, techniques, and hands on training opportunities and were a great success with our surveys showing excellent attendee satisfaction.

Next year’s 25th anniversary IMAST meeting in Los Angeles is currently being planned by Ron Lehman, Henry Halm, and the IMAST committee. Suken Shah and the Education Committee are working closely with Greg Mundis and the Program Committee to plan the Annual Meeting & Course to be held in Bologna, Italy in October. There have been over 30 applications to the Education Committee for new and innovative Half Day Courses and Lunchtime Symposia while the committee is also currently developing a new and informative Pre-Meeting Course. These committees will continue to develop innovative and exciting educational programs for the Annual Meeting & Course and IMAST that incorporate more paper presentations, didactic lectures, case discussions, debates and pioneering, high quality media presentations. Scientific Paper presentations are the soul of these important meetings so I would like to encourage all members, spine specialists and researchers to strongly consider submitting your scientific paper abstracts for presentation.

SRS continues to be the premier international spinal deformity research society that continually seeks to develop new and innovative educational programs. We invite all members to attend our highly rated annual educational venues and to consider participation in our educational planning committees.

Finance & Communications Council Update

J. Abbott Byrd, III, MD
Finance & Communications Council Chair

Historically, the Finance Council has consisted of one committee that being the Finance Committee.  However, in an attempt to off load the duties of other Councils the Presidential Line and Board have expanded the committee responsibilities of the Finance Council by adding additional committees and renaming it the Finance and Communications Council.  The added committees include Website, Communications, Patient Education and Translation.  Updates of these committees are as follows:

Finance Committee-The finances of the SRS remain stable as reported by myself at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.  The big news is that at the request of the Presidential Line the Board has passed the first dues increase for SRS member since 2009.  This was felt necessary as there has been no adjustment for inflation over the last 8 years.  Dues will increase by $75 for Active, Candidate and Associate members.  In addition, since 2009 SRS has had a three tier sliding dues scale for International Members based on the World Bank country classification.  The World Bank country classification, however, has four tiers and because of this the Board has approved a four tier sliding dues scale for SRS members.  The result is that beginning in 2018 SRS dues for Active, Candidate and Associate Fellows will be as follows: Code 1 Countries-$140, $140 and $105. Code 2 Countries-$285, $285 and $210. Code 3 Countries-$430, $430 and $315. Code 4 Countries-$575, $575 and $425.  If members have questions as to which code their country falls in to please see this document or contact Alysha Chapman, CNP, Membership Manager, at

Website Committee-Total hits for the website are slightly down but this is felt due to the new website ramping up.  Seventy-five percent of our visitors are new while 25% are return.  The Patient Education section receives the most hits.  The Committee is trying to expand the SRS footprint in social media by continuing to explore Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube video opportunities.

Communications Committee-The primary charge of this committee is to produce the SRS Newsletter.  The committee is also exploring the use of the WhatsApp platform to facilitate communication between the SRS global membership and our patients worldwide.

Patient Education-This committee has been quite productive and in 2017 created brochures on General Kyphosis, Scheuermann’s Kyphosis and Congenital Scoliosis.  In addition, 14 videos were recorded at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia which have been edited and recently uploaded to the SRS YouTube Channel as well as the SRS website.  The committee also hosted two webinars in October, the first on AIS with 261 viewers and the second on Operative Treatment for AIS with 43 viewers.  Goals for 2018 include revision of additional brochures and the hosting of two webinars. 

Translation Committee-Presently SRS materials have been translated into 14 languages and the goal for 2018 is to add Czech and Russian.  An ambitious goal indeed!

In closing, I would like to thank all of the committee members for their hard work which, as you can see from above, adds immensely to our Society.  As always, I would also like to thank Dan Nemec from our management team whose help to me as Treasurer is invaluable.

Ethics Corner

B. Stephens Richards, MD
Ethics & Professionalism Committee Member

What obligations does a spinal surgeon have regarding sexual misconduct in the physician-patient relationship?

There has been recent widespread notoriety regarding sexual misconduct involving the entertainment industry, and beyond. Because of the current heightened awareness of this issue, we ask the question “What is a spinal surgeon’s responsibility when an episode of sexual misconduct occurs involving a colleague?”

An adult female patient presents for the first time to Dr. Jones with a symptomatic spinal disorder. During the course of his interview with this patient, he discovers that during a previous evaluation by another spine surgeon, the patient described what she considered very inappropriate sexually-oriented remarks as well as being inappropriately touched during the physical examination. She never returned to that physician and has never reported this to authorities because of her feelings of shame, humiliation, and her concern of self-blame.

Later the same day, Dr. Jones recalls having previously overheard concerning comments about the same surgeon, but had excused it as having misunderstood the conversation.

Does Dr. Jones have a responsibility to report this issue to authorities?

Sexual misconduct exploits the physician-patient relationship. It is harmful to the patient and detrimental to providing care. Nearly all violators are male and most victims are female. The burden of recognizing and avoiding this exploitation rests with the physician.

State medical licensure and disciplinary boards are charged with protecting public welfare, and this includes strict intolerance to physician sexual misconduct. These boards may take prompt and decisive action.

We will consider several of the SRS and AAOS Standards of Professionalism which can be directly applicable to this issue.

SOP Providing Musculoskeletal Services to Patients

Standard 1. A spinal surgeon shall, while caring for and treating a patient, regard his or her responsibility to the patient as paramount.

Standard 7. A spinal surgeon shall maintain appropriate relations with patients.

If evidence is found of physician sexual misconduct with patients, the SRS Board of Directors may discipline (reprimand, censure, suspend) the individual, or expel the individual from fellowship, upon recommendations from the Ethics Committee for any unethical conduct.

Physicians found guilty of sexual misconduct may also face a variety of professional liability claims and possibly criminal charges, depending on the circumstances.

AAOS Code of Medical Ethics – Personal Conduct

II.C. If an orthopaedic surgeon has a reasonable basis for believing that a physician or other health care provider has been involved in any unethical or illegal activity, he/she should attempt to prevent the continuation of this activity by communicating with that person and/or identifying that person to a duly-constituted peer review authority or the appropriate regulatory agency.

Anyone may report instances of suspected physician sexual misconduct to the state licensure or disciplinary boards. These boards are obligated to investigate such complaints. Spinal surgeons have an ethical and, in most jurisdictions, a legal obligation to report physician sexual misconduct whether it involves an adult (as in this scenario) or involves a pediatric patient. Reporting this is a required ethical standard by the AAOS and state boards. Failure to report may be considered professional misconduct and could be subject to disciplinary action as well.

The SRS Standards of Professionalism can be found on the SRS website in the “Members Only Area” under the “Membership” section. It was adapted for the use of SRS, from AAOS.


Chair: Kamal N. Ibrahim Committee: Timothy S. Oswald; Ioannis Avramis (C); Eric J. Belin (C); Abdul M. Mohd Hussein (C); James M. Eule; Timothy A. Garvey; H. Robert Tuten; B, Stephens Richards III, Chair Elect; Jochen P. Son-Hing; Jacob M. Buchowski; David A. Hanscom

Historian Corner

George H. Thompson, MD
SRS Historian

During the recent Annual Meeting, I and others had the chance to interview our two Lifetime Achievement winners, G. Dean MacEwen, MD and Howard Steel, MD as well as Robert Campbell, MD. These interviews will be made available on the SRS History & Archives website in the coming months.

Several other updates are also underway with the SRS History & Archives page including a design update to match the main SRS website and adding historical Board of Directors Minutes, Business Meeting Minutes and many other documents. For those who have not visited the History & Archives page, you can access it via the SRS Member’s Only section!

In other exciting news, 2018 will celebrate the 25th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) in Los Angeles, CA, USA. This Historical Committee will be putting together a display about the creation and history of IMAST. The Committee looks forward to having the opportunity to celebrate another amazing milestone for our Society!

SRS Archives Update
Christopher Crenner, MD, PhD
Robert Hudson and Ralph Major Professor of the History and Philosophy of Medicine
Chair, Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine

A number of significant events have occurred over the past year at the SRS Archives, housed in the Spine and Orthopedic Historical Collections at the University of Kansas Medical Center Archives in Kansas City, Kansas.  Earlier this spring, the archives received an accession of six cubic feet of new material from the SRS offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Archives staff are incorporating the accession, consisting of board agendas, cabinet meeting minutes, and committee reports, into the existing SRS Archives, which now exceeds 30 cubic feet. In addition to the SRS Archives, the Spine and Orthopedic Historical Collections include the papers of Paul R. Harrington, MD; Leonard F. Peltier, MD; Walter P. Blount, MD; and Rex L. Dively, MD. Physicians, historians and scholars interested in research using the collections at the KUMC Archives are encouraged to contact Archivist Alex Welborn at  

The KUMC Archives recently completed upgrades to its environmental control system. Earlier this summer, archives staff worked with facilities management to replace an aging dehumidifier, to better keep pace with Kansas City’s often-unpredictable weather.  The new dehumidifier helps to ensure that collections such as the SRS Archives and the Spine and Orthopedic Historical Collections remain accessible to researchers well into the future.

Also of interest, Dr. Marc Asher’s biography of Dr. Paul R. Harrington, Dogged Persistence: Harrington, Post-polio Scoliosis, and the Origin of Spine Instrumentation, continues to spread the word of these fundamental advances in spinal surgery. Dogged Persistence, researched from original archival collections in the Paul R. Harrington Archives, tells the story of Dr. Harrington and the development of the Harrington Rods, the first successful, implanted spine instrumentation system.  To date, 394 copies of Dr. Asher’s work have been sold, adding over $7,000 in royalties to the endowments of the Paul R. Harrington Archives and the SRS Archives. Dogged Persistence is available online at, or for purchase at the KU Bookstore at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and its branch at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City.


Chair: George H. Thompson Committee: Behrooz A. Akbarnia, Past Chair; Jay Shapiro; David B. Bumpass (C); Pooria Hosseini (C); Ahmed S. Mohamed (C); Hani H. Mhaidli; Andrew G. King; Acke Ohlin (E); Patricia N. Kostial (A)

Awards & Scholarships Committee Update

M. Timothy Hresko, MD
Awards & Scholarships Committee Chair

The SRS Award Committee recently reviewed applications for the SRS Traveling Fellows from outside of North America. The award is open for SRS members and Candidate members less than 45 years old for visitation to North American spine centers. The Senior Traveling Fellow for 2018 is Dr. Francisco J. Sanchez Perez-Grueso of Madrid. Twelve very accomplished young members from Europe, Asia, and South America submitted applications with supporting letters of recommendation from SRS members. The recipients for 2018 are Kariman Abelin Genevois, Kai Cao, and ZeZhang Zhu. We congratulate the recipients and encourage future applicants from North American to apply for the 2019 Traveling Fellowship.

Visit to apply between January 1, 2018-March 1, 2018 for:

For SRS Candidate Members 45 Years Old or Younger
Edgar Dawson Traveling Fellowship
Eduardo R. Luque Memorial Scholarship

For International Surgeons Not Residing in North America
Robert B. Winter Global Outreach Fellowship
Global (GOP) Traveling Fellowship
OrthoPediatrics International Pediatric Spine Fellowship
Asia-Pacific Spinal Deformity Scholarship Program
Global Outreach Program (GOP) Educational Scholarship
Fikry MENA Scholarship

For Residents or Fellows
OrthoPediatrics SRS Annual Meeting/IMAST Scholarship for Residents and Fellows (North American)

Member Recognition Awards
SRS Lifetime Achievement Award
Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award


Chair: Michael T. Hresko Committee: Jeffrey S. Kanel, Past Chair; John M. Wattenbarger, Global Outreach; Gregory M. Mundis, Program; Leah Y. Carreon, Research; Frank LaMarca; Stefan Parent; Surya Prakash Rao Voleti; Gustavo BL Azevedo (C); Alderico G. Campos de Barros (C); Dong-Gune Chang (C); Dean Chou (C); Mohsen Karami (C); Raphael M. Marcon (C); Joshua Murphy (C); Saba Pasha (C); Ajoy P. Shetty (C); Qianyu Zhuang (C); Matthew E. Cunningham, Chair Elect; Hak-Sun Kim; Cristina Sacramento Dominguez; Jianxiong Shen; Anthony S. Rinella; Alpaslan Senkoylu; Suken A. Shah; Burt Yaszay

Education Committee Update

Suken A. Shah, MD
Education Committee Chair

The Education Committee is responsible for the educational programs (Pre-Meeting Course, Half-Day Courses, and Lunchtime Symposia) for the 53rd Annual Meeting & Course in Bologna and is already hard at work. Our thanks goes to Praveen Mummaneni, MD, our past chair, for coordinating activities last year and making a seamless transition. The presentations and contributions by our entire course faculty were much appreciated, and the post-meeting evaluations reflected that! We have reviewed the feedback from the program at the 52nd Annual Meeting & Course in Philadelphia and integrated it for the activities going forward. Using a strategy called “backward planning,” we have assessed our members’ needs and learners’ knowledge gaps to determine what educational offerings we should provide. The committee was fortunate to receive 35 proposals for educational activities this year and we assessed these proposals using 4 objective criteria.  A conference call was conducted to discuss these proposals and retool and modify some of them into a working educational package for the Annual Meeting and the year ahead.  We also plan to offer 4-5 webinars throughout the year for our members to receive online education.  I’d like to thank the committee members for their work so far, knowing there is more to be done and the Education Council Chair, John Dimar, MD as well as our president, Todd Albert, MD for their guidance with the program. The theme for the 53rd Annual Meeting's Pre-Meeting Course is: “Spine Surgeon Well Being for the Benefit of Our Patients.” Speakers will include thought leaders from the SRS as well as invited speakers from other specialties to discuss topics such as lifelong learning, coaching, mentoring, work/life balance, and surgeon preservation by avoiding burnout, stress, radiation, and overuse injuries.  The topics for Half Day Courses and Lunchtime Symposia at the 53rd Annual Meeting are being formulated now and can be expected to be broad in scope, innovative in design and encourage international participation.

The Educational Committee is also interfacing with other organizations such as AAOS, POSNA, AOSpine (Global Spine Congress), EUROSPINE, FOSA, and the AANS-CNS Joint Spine Section for co-branded offerings.  We have recruited several individuals to help with these efforts including Sigurd Berven MD, Michael Daubs MD, Marinus De Kleuver MD PhD, Benny Dahl MD, James Sanders MD, Michael Vitale MD, Rajiv Sethi MD and Praveen Mummaneni, MD. The Education Committee is in close communication with the Worldwide Course Committee for international conference planning. We also interact with the Program Committee and the CME Committee to achieve our goals for the year.

I wish to extend a personal thank you to Courtney Kissinger – our Senior Education Manager- for her logistical support, responsiveness and guidance as we seek to continue the legacy of educational excellence of this Society.


Chair: Suken A. Shah Committee: Praveen V. Mummaneni, Past Chair; Gregory M. Mundis, Program; David H. Clements III, CME; Richard H. Gross; S. Rajasekaran; Yan Wang; Keith R. Bachmann (C); Robert H. Cho (C); Alan H. Daniels (C); Olavo B. Letaif (C); Gabriel KP Liu (C); Scott C. Nelson (C); Rodrigo G. Remondino (C); Denis Sakai (C); Jason W. Savage (C); Masood Shafafy (C); William F. Young (C); Charles H. Crawford III; Paul T. Rubery; Burt Yaszay, Chair Elect; Benny T. Dahl, WWC; Marco Brayda-Bruno; Michael D. Daubs; Baron Lonner; Ahmet Alanay; Charles E. Johnston

Fellowship Committee Update

Youssry El Hawary, 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 had a very nice turn out to the Membership Information Session at the Annual Meeting this year and we are looking forward to the December 1 deadline to review the next round of applications.

With the new year there will be a few changes to the membership dues. The Board of Directors voted at the fall meeting to raise dues for all membership categories by $75 USD bringing Active Member dues to $575 USD and to add a fourth tier to the dues scale to match all the levels of the World Bank income scale. The last increase in dues was in 2010 when Active member dues went from $400 USD to $500 USD. The increases goes towards providing you with high quality meetings, awards & scholarships, the fellowship directory and much more.

Fellowship Statistics
SRS is growing at a steady rate continuously focusing on the quality of new fellows and not the quantity. As we continue to maintain the high standards of fellowship set by our Founders. We currently have 62 countries represented in our fellowship with approximately 34 percent residing outside of the United States.

Dues update as of November 7, 2017

  • 949 out of 1057 members have paid their 2017 dues
  • We have collected $462,790.00 in 2017 dues
  • We have collected $2,270.00 in late fees from previous years dues
  • We have collected $26,120.00 in MM fees from previous years fees
  • Total Members Unpaid: 108


Membership Count by Membership Type

  1/2012 6/2012 1/2013 1/2014 3/2015 2/2016 8/2016 2/2017 8/2017
Active 523 535 568 598 624 661 688 667 670
Candidate 283 288 272 261 274 281 296 304 310
Associate 71 75 81 73 70 68 73 75 77
Emeritus 234 239 240 246 255 257 258 262 267
Honorary 12 12 12 10 10 10 10 10 9
Total 1,123 1,149 1,173 1,188 1,233 1,277 1,305 1,318 1,333


Neurosurgeons 7/2011 11/2012 2013 1/2014 3/2015 2/2016 8/2016 2/2017 8/2017
Total 33 38 39 46 60 62 67 73 74


Researchers 1/2014 3/2015 2/2016 8/2016 2/2017 8/2017
Total 26 34 37 42 44 46


Countries 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total 45 45 46 46 46 48 49 49 55 56 61 62


Chair: Youssry El-Hawary Committee: Hee Kit Wong, Past Chair; Michelle S. Caird, Chair Elect; Baron S. Lonner

Non-Operative Management Committee Update

Howard M. Place, MD
Non-Operative Management Committee Chair

The Non-operative committee met at the 53rd Annual Meeting & Course and delegated responsibilities for the upcoming year.  Several tasks are actively being worked on  to include compilation of a bibliography of the Physical Therapy and Alternative Treatment methods to address scoliosis and a review article on the Non-operative treatments of Adult Spinal Deformity.  Plans for this coming year include working with the patient education committee to address FAQ’s regarding Adult Spinal Deformity.  In conjunction with the Adult Deformity committee, we will be putting together a survey to help define non-operative care in the adult patient. The goal of this is to ultimately address this topic with a handbook. There has been no further feedback from the USPSTF regarding the grade “I” which basically states there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of school screening.


Chair: Howard M. Place Committee: Richard Hostin, Past Chair; Michael J. Mendelow; Karamin Abelin Genevois (C); Hongda Bao (C); Michael P. Glotzbecker (C); Alberto O. Gotfryd (C); Kenny Kwan (C); Joshua Murphy (C); Yutaka Nakamura (C); Hazem Nicola (C); Saba Pasha (C); Lucas Piantoni (C); Wafa Skalli (C); Oliver Stokes (C); Linda P. D'Andrea; David A. Hanscom, Chair Elect; Kamshad Raiszadeh; Avraam Ploumis; Nigel J. Price; Theodoros B. Grivas, Advisory; Joseph P. O'Brien, Advisory

World Wide Course Committee Update

Benny T. Dahl, MD, PhD, DMSci
World Wide Course Committee Chair

The Worldwide Course Committee continues to plan and coordinate three major types of activities under the WWC umbrella: the traditional WWC courses, the Current Concepts in Spine Deformity Courses (CCSD), and the Hands-On Courses.

Since the last newsletter, Hands-On Courses have been held in Nijmegen, Netherlands and Bangkok, Thailand. Both courses were very successful with high attendance and positive evaluation. In October, the Current Concept Course was held in Shenzhen, China in collaboration with the Chinese Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. With 137 registered participants, and faculty from nine countries the meeting confirmed that the CCC is a valuable concept, that should be continued in the coming years. Valuable feed-back was obtained from younger colleagues, at a brief meeting immediately after the course. Their evaluation will be considered in the planning of future courses, along with the needs assessment prior to planning courses and the development of the current SRS curriculum.

A WWC committee meeting was held on Tuesday, September 5, prior to the SRS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Thanks to a high number of committee members attending the meeting, a thorough discussion regarding future WWC activities was completed. There was agreement that the WWC activities should continue to be distributed worldwide, taking into account the overall strategy of the SRS and the SRS goal of establishing strong collaborations with relevant spine societies. Also, there was agreement that longtime planning of WWC activities is necessary and for 2018 the activities have now been planned. These include Hands-on-courses in Houston, Texas and Hong Kong; Current Concept Courses in Bordeaux, France and Buenos Aires, Argentina; and traditional WWC courses in St. Petersburg, Russia and Beijing, China.


Chair: Benny T. Dahl Committee: Haluk R. Berk; David S. Marks; Rajiv K. Sethi; Suken A. Shah, Education; Kariman Abelin Genevois (C); Carlos E. Barsotti (C); Chris Yin Wei Chan (C); Katsumi Harimaya (C); Aroldo C. Legarreta (C); Darren F. Lui (C); Ibrahim Obeid (C); Matthew E. Oetgen (C); Bangping Qian (C); Anuj Singla (C); Hany A.G. Soliman (C); Morio Matsumoto; Firoz Miyanji; Yat Wa Wong; J. Michael Wattenbarger, Global Outreach; Saumyajit Basu; Steven M. Mardjetko; Martin Repko

Call for Applications - USBJI Young Investigator Initiative Grant Mentoring & Career Development Program

Spring Workshop – April 6-8, 2018 Rosemont (Chicago), IL

The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) and Bone and Joint Canada are dedicated to increasing research of musculoskeletal diseases. To keep pace with the high and increasing burden of these diseases, a higher level of research performed by young investigators in the musculoskeletal diseases is required, and future levels of research assured. This is particularly important given the current environment for research funding, and academic careers. In response, the Young Investigator Initiative is a grant mentoring and career development program providing early-career investigators an opportunity to work with experienced researchers in our field to assist them in securing funding and other survival skills required for pursuing an academic career. To date 202 participants (55%) have successfully obtained $270 million in grants for 1,066 new musculoskeletal research studies. Participants consider this program instrumental to their success. They rate highly the one-on-one mentoring with experienced researchers, the opportunity for inter-disciplinary and peer-to-peer exchange, and collaborations established during workshops.

This grant mentoring and career development program is open to promising junior faculty, senior fellows or post-doctoral researchers nominated by their department or division chairs seeking to pursue a career in clinical or basic research. It is also open to senior fellows or residents that are doing research and have a faculty appointment in place or confirmed. Basic and clinical investigators, without or with training awards, are invited to apply. Investigators selected to take part in the program attend two workshops, 12-18 months apart, and work with faculty between workshops to develop their grant applications. The Spring 2018 workshop is scheduled to take place on April 6-8, 2018, in Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois. The unique aspect of this program is the opportunity for attendees to maintain a relationship with a mentor until their application is funded.  

To apply for this program applicants must provide the documentation listed below. For more about the program and detailed application instructions, please refer to

  1. Letter of nomination from Division or Department Chair indicating pledge to cover costs for roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodation for attendance at the two workshops, and the registration fee for the full program if the candidate is accepted. Fee schedule for the full program; $1,000 if candidate is a member of an USBJI member organization and $1,500 for non-members. Click here for listing of USBJI Founding Members and Participating Members. The full program includes two Young Investigator workshops, with participants spending two (2) days at each workshop.
  2. Letter of support from institutional research mentor.
  3. One or two-page document with program title, specific aims and outline of a proposed grant application from the participant, making sure to note applicant's name.
  4. Curriculum vitae of the applicant, to include complete contact details, and discipline specialization.
  5. The application is due by January 15, 2018.
  6. Submit applications online at by completing the online application and uploading the four documents noted above.


Nancy Lane, MD
Young Investigator Initiative
United States Bone and Joint Initiative, NFP
9400 West Higgins Road, Suite 500
Rosemont, Illinois 60018
Phone: 847.430.5052/5054