President's Message

Peter O. Newton, MD
SRS President 2018-2019

Our society remains focused on providing you benefits of membership while advancing the care for all patients with spinal deformity. Our two major education events, IMAST and the Annual Meeting, are largely set with our next chance to share ideas and innovations in our specialty July 17-20, 2019 at IMAST in Amsterdam. If you haven’t made your plans it’s not too late. We will be in Montréal, Canada for Annual Meeting September 18-21, 2019. Anticipate a spectacular scientific program based on the more than 1700 submitted abstracts this year, as well as stunning fall colors. Please see Dr. Miyanji’s program report later in this issue.

In addition to our in-person gatherings for scientific and social exchange, the SRS is embracing the online educational movement with increased vigor.  We are in the midst of evaluating proposals for a Learning Management System to serve as the platform to launch online educational content feeding the SRS Core Curriculum in Spinal Deformity. Dr. Bas highlights in this issue of the newsletter the transformation of the E-Text into more varied and engaging forms of content curated by the Educational Resources Committee. In addition, our first blended learning (online and live) course on Early Onset Scoliosis is in the works with the remaining topics of the SRS Core Curriculum in Spinal Deformity coming in the future.

A task force to evaluate our society’s efforts in research was initiated early in the year as well. Four subgroups have been meeting and we anticipate a report with recommendations to the Board of Directors in July. Stay tuned as we continue to place emphasis on how the SRS can promote the creation and discovery of new knowledge in spinal deformity. Research was a foundation of the society when it was formed more than 50 years ago and it remains equally relevant today.

Our SRS brand is powerful and your leadership knows this is based on the quality and stature of its members. We are greatly appreciative of your contributions to the SRS as well as your patients and the larger spine community. No matter your country, your specialty training or the population of patients you treat, your shared commitment to advancing care for patients with spinal deformity is what makes the SRS brand what it is and what it will become in the future. We will launch a new logo (see below) in the coming months that will supplement our traditional logo, which will become our seal. We hope you find the fresh look representative of the SRS brand.

I will thank you again now, and every chance I get, for the opportunity to serve as your President. I have heard from many of you this year and welcome others who wish to share insight and suggestions for how the SRS can have an even greater impact on the very special patients we are so privileged to help. Reach out anytime,

Most humbly yours,

Peter Newton, MD
SRS President 2018-2019



Ralph W. Coonrad, MD
September 10, 1923 - April 10, 2019

Dr. Coonrad, an SRS fellow since 1971, was born in Tsingtao, China, to Presbyterian missionaries, on September 10, 1923. He attended Pyengyang Foreign School in North Korea and the Stony Brook School in New York before matriculating to Davidson College, where he earned varsity letters in football, wrestling, track and tennis. He served for three years as a naval ensign during World War II. He graduated from Duke University School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha) in 1947. He completed a surgical internship and a residency in orthopaedics at Duke in 1953. His residency included a fellowship at the Warm Springs Foundation where he gained invaluable experience performing tendon transfers in poliomyelitis patients, which inspired his lifelong passion for pediatric orthopaedics.

Following his residency, he was stationed at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas for two years during the Korean War as a Captain in the United States Army and Chief of Orthopedics and Hand Surgery. One particular patient whose elbow had been destroyed in combat, provided the inspiration for his future development of a total elbow joint replacement.

Dr. Coonrad returned to Durham in 1955. He was one of the founders of Triangle Orthopedic Associates, while simultaneously working throughout his career at Duke University Medical Center, first as an Assistant Clinical Professor, and later as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Orthopedic Surgery. He was an attending staff member of Watts Hospital in Durham, and later the Durham Regional Hospital, where he served as President of the Medical Staff. He was as a consultant in orthopaedic surgery to the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital, an Associate Clinical Professor at University of North Carolina Memorial Hospital, and for 35 years a consultant to the United States Army and Womack Army Hospital at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Upon retirement of his mentor and cherished friend Dr. Lenox Baker, he became the Medical Director and Chief Surgeon of Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital at Duke, a position he held for 24 years.

He was also a pioneer in developing scoliosis surgery in North Carolina after training in the early 1960’s with Dr. Paul Harrington. Ralph became the first orthopaedist in North Carolina to treat scoliosis with Harrington rods and develop a state school screening program for scoliosis. He severed on the SRS membership and 3D Spinal Classification Committees. He was an inventor and designer of many surgical instruments and devices. In 1972, working alone in his garage, using cadaver bones, he designed and fabricated a total elbow joint replacement by whittling models from wood.  Working with the Zimmer Company, a titanium prototype was made. The “Coonrad Total Elbow”, and later the “Coonrad-Morrey Total Elbow System”, became the gold standard of elbow replacements for over 40 years.

Dr. Coonrad served as a member and chair of several committees of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Shoulder and Elbow Society, the American Orthopaedic Society, and North Carolina Orthopaedic Association. He was the recipient of the North Carolina Governor’s Council Outstanding Physician Award in 1971 and the North Carolina Orthopaedic Associations Outstanding Orthopaedic Surgeon in 1996. He received the Duke Orthopaedic Residency Award for excellence in education and teaching in 1994, and the inaugural Duke Master Orthopaedist Award in 2017.

Very few individuals, have contributed as much as Ralph did in so many ways to the Duke Orthopaedic Program. He generously contributed to the Duke Orthopaedic Residency Program, providing the Coonrad Global Mission Fund for residents and the Coonrad Fellowships to enable Duke residents to attend the Piedmont Society’s Annual Meeting.

He was a genuine humanitarian who shared with the Duke faculty, residents and staff his time and expertise. Ralph served as a devoted mentor to many talented and aspiring surgeons and colleagues. He loved every opportunity to broaden the relationships with those he mentored with an occasional fishing or hunting trip He was a consummate physician in his compassionate care, grace and humility.

He died peacefully on April 10, 2019 and is survived by his daughters Sally Carrol of Charlottesville, Virginia, Sue Cullen of Durham, North Carolina, 3 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He is predeceased by his cherished wife of 49 years, Evelyn V. Coonrad, MD

Written by Jim Urbaniak and Dick Nasca


A. Edward Dean Jr., MD
October 15, 1933 - February 7, 2019

To read Dr. Dean's full obituary, please click here.


Ethics Corner

Jochen P. Son-Hing, MD, FRCSC
Ethics & Professionalism Committee Member

How do we balance our ethical obligations to our patients and our professional conduct with our peers?

Practicing medicine ethically and interacting with our colleagues professionally often intersect. The SRS realizes this and its Standards of Professionalism document for its fellows is titled: “Ethical Practice and Professionalism.” In this scenario, we will examine a case in which protecting a patient’s best interests may also require directly questioning a colleague’s knowledge and intentions.

You are at the scrub sink getting ready for your OR day when a resident you've worked with, assisting in the next room over, enters to get ready as well. When you casually ask what interesting cases are being performed today, the resident tells you that they’re getting ready to stabilize a burst fracture in a 10-year old. The resident says the pictures are up on the computer. You peer through the window into the OR suite and see a lateral image with what appears to be a classic-appearing vertebra plana (Langerhans cell histiocytosis) of the lower thoracic spine without sagittal deformity. When you question the resident about this, you discover that vertebra plana was never mentioned in the preoperative notes and the resident, in fact, is actually unaware what vertebra plana is.

Upon closer questioning, the patient did not have any symptoms of back pain until a minor fall a few weeks ago, at which point he began complaining of mild mid-thoracic back discomfort. There have been no signs or symptoms of neurological involvement and bracing was never mentioned in the preoperative notes either.

How do you proceed?

The most pressing concern is this scenario is that the patient may be about to receive unnecessary surgery. If the patient sustained a benign soft tissue injury during the “minor fall” and the vertebra plana was discovered incidentally, then the patient did not sustain a “burst fracture” and surgery is not indicated for a neurologically and mechanically stable spine. Since the surgery is scheduled to begin imminently, this scenario does highlight the usefulness of a weekly “Indications Conference,” whereby all the postoperative and preoperative cases can be discussed among colleagues and housestaff as both an educational and quality-control endeavor. In the absence of that, a decision now needs to be made as to (a) whether this case merits further preoperative discussion; and (b) how best to implement that discussion.

Regarding (a), there appears to be enough information presented already to warrant gathering further information. If the patient’s legal guardian is present, permission can be obtained for the concerned surgeon to review the patient’s medical record. However, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ section on “Permitted Uses and Disclosures,” a covered entity is permitted, but not required, to use and disclose protected health information, without an individual’s authorization, for situations that include “Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations.” Health care operations, in turn, include “quality assessment and improvement activities, including case management and care coordination.”  If the medical record suggests the treating surgeon is unaware that this patient appears to have vertebra plana rather than a burst fracture, then the patient’s legal guardian will not be able to provide appropriate informed consent. Furthermore, the patient appears to have been asymptomatic prior to the traumatic incident that led to his presentation. Even if the patient had been symptomatic prior to presentation, surgery is generally reserved for progressive deformity (kyphosis) that is refractory to bracing, which apparently had also not been mentioned in the preoperative medical record. This information needs to be verified.

Regarding (b), tact is obviously important but protecting the patient’s interests is paramount. One cannot lose sight of the fact that appropriate decision-making needs to be conducted for the welfare of the patient. The SRS Standards of Professionalism and AAOS Principles of Medical Ethics and Professionalism in Orthopaedic Surgery provide further guidance, for both the treating and concerned surgeons, relevant to this scenario:

  1. SRS Standards of Professionalis

Providing Musculoskeletal Services to Patients

Standard 4. A spinal surgeon, or his or her qualified designee, shall present pertinent medical facts and recommendations to and obtain informed consent from the patient or the person responsible for the patient.
Standard 5. A spinal surgeon shall serve as the patient’s advocate for treatment needs and exercise all reasonable means to ensure that the most appropriate care is provided to the patient.

Professional Relationships
Standard 3. A spinal surgeon shall conduct himself or herself in a professional manner in interactions with colleagues or other health care professionals.
Standard 4. A spinal surgeon shall work collaboratively with colleagues and other health care providers to reduce medical errors, increase patient safety, and optimize the outcomes of patient care.

  1. AAOS Principles of Medical Ethics and Professionalism in Orthopaedic Surgery

Principle II. Integrity. The orthopaedic surgeon should maintain a reputation for truth and honesty with patients and colleagues, and should strive to expose through the appropriate review process those physicians who are deficient in character or competence or who engage in fraud or deception.
Principle VI. Medical Knowledge. The orthopaedic surgeon continually must strive to maintain and improve medical knowledge and to make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public.
Principle VII. Cooperation. Good relationships among physicians, nurses, and health care professionals are essential for good patient care. The orthopaedic surgeon should promote the development of an expert health care team that will work together harmoniously to provide optimal patient care.

Scenario (continued):
The treating surgeon was paged but did not answer immediately. The surgeon-in-chief was contacted and, in consultation with the family, the case was delayed pending further discussion with the treating surgeon. The anesthesia team and nursing staff were apprised of the delay. Upon arrival of the treating surgeon, the preoperative notes were reviewed and confirmation was obtained that vertebra plana had not been considered in the differential diagnosis. The decision was made to cancel the case. The family decided to follow-up with a different surgeon to discuss management options. The treating surgeon agreed and provided names of colleagues both inside and outside the institution, in keeping with the following standard:

  1. SRS Standards of Professionalism

Providing Musculoskeletal Services to Patients
Standard 8. A spinal surgeon shall respect a patient’s request for additional opinions.

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: B. Stephens Richards III Committee: Kamal N. Ibrahim, Past Chair; James M. Eule; Timothy A. Garvey; H. Robert Tuten; Christian P. DiPaola (C); Sang D. Kim (C); Olavo B. Letaif (C); Jonathan N. Sembrano (C); Paulo J. Silva Ramos (C); Bekir Y. Ucar (C); Anthony M. Petrizzo; Jochen P. Son-Hing; Jacob M. Buchowski; David A. Hanscom; Steven D. Glassman, Chair Elect; Sherif M. El Ghamry; Hee-Kit Wong

Historian Corner

George H. Thompson, MD
SRS Historian

The activities of the History Committee since our last report have focused on the SRS Archives, keeping up with obituaries of our recently departed members and maintaining the Historian’s Corner.

SRS Archives

Following the funeral of Marc Asher, which many of us attended, the History Committee leadership has been involved with SRS Archives in Kansas City. Behrooz Akbarnia, Bob Gaines and I were able to spend some brief time at the archives. During that time we were able to discuss some possibilities to more rapidly incorporate and update our archival material. We have had several telephone conferences with Dr. Chris Crenner who is the Chair of the Department of History & Philosophy of Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center where the SRS archives are housed, to discuss these possibilities. We will be having more conference calls this summer. At this time no definite decisions have been made.

New Obituaries

We continue to lose SRS members at a faster than expected rate. Thus far we have lost 4 more members in addition to Marc Asher. These include Keith Vandenbrink, John D. King, Edward Dean, Jr (February 7, 2019) and Ralph W. Coonrad  (April 10, 2019). Dr. Vandenbrink’s obituary, written by Newt McCoullough has already been published and the others are in preparation.

50 years ago…

The Wilmington/DuPont Brace was developed. In response to patients refusing use of the Milwaukee Brace and Risser Cast, a custom TLSO Wilmington Brace was developed. A removable thermoplastic device for deformities with apices at-or-below T7 (JBJS Am. 1980 Jan; 62(1): 31-6) casted in a Risser frame in corrected position was the basis for this brace made from a cast mold.

20 years ago…

SRS Fellowship categories were revised. International members are no longer known as Corresponding Fellows. This leads the way for international members to become full Active Fellows of the Society. In this timespan, SRS has grown to 34% non-US members and seen its first international President.


Chair: George H. Thompson Committee: Kshitij S. Chaudhary (C); Christian P. DiPaola (C); Janez Mohar (C); Brandon A. Ramo (C); Andrew G. King; Acke Ohlin (E); Patricia N. Kostial (A); Matthew J. Mermer; Jay Shapiro, Historian Elect

Health Policy Committee Update

Karl E. Rathjen, MD
Health Policy Committee Chair

June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month and is a great opportunity for SRS members to work to increase awareness about scoliosis, its prevalence and treatments. It is an opportunity to unite scoliosis patients, families, clinicians, institutions and related businesses in collaborative partnerships and grassroots networking.

The Health Policy Committee is working to have each state officially declare June by proclamation to be National Scoliosis Awareness Month. The Committee is ready to assist any member who would like to work with their local patients, hospitals or other institutions to combine the proclamations with patient stories to advocate for increased public awareness, promote early detection, and build networks to grow the campaign.

If you, your colleagues, and/or your patients are planning a Scoliosis Awareness Month event, please let us know by submitting it to our Patient Event Calendar.

We encourage any member interested in supporting National Scoliosis Awareness month to visit the SRS website or to contact Shawn Storey, or (414) 289-9107.


Chair: Karl E. Rathjen Committee: Richard M. Schwend, Past Chair; R. Dale Blasier; John M. Olsewski; Jonathan R. Stieber; David B. Bumpass (C); Jesse G. Eisler (C); Timothy P. McHenry (C); Elizabeth P. Norheim (C); Laurel C. Blakemore; Patrick J. Cahill, Chair Elect; Brian P. Hasley; Paul T. Rubery; Brian G. Smith; Joseph P. O'Brien, Advisory; David W. Polly Jr., Advisory; Jordan Vivian, Liaison

Awards & Scholarships Committee Update

Matthew E. Cunningham, MD, PhD
Awards & Scholarships Committee Chair

The members of the Awards and Scholarship Committee have had a very busy year. In the fall, the committee reviewed the applications of multiple extremely qualified North American Traveling Fellowship applicants. The top three were chosen to be the 2019 SRS travelling fellows, who will be accompanied by George Thomson, MD as the Senior Fellow on their visits of several international host sites. During the spring, we meticulously reviewed almost 120 applications for the multiple awards and scholarships that were announced in April.

Please join us throughout the year in congratulating our award winners!

SRS Lifetime Achievement Award
Juergen Harms, Heidelberg, Germany
Alberto Ponte, Torino, Italy

Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award
Theodore Wagner, Seattle, WA

SRS 2019 Traveling Fellows
Addisu Mesfin, Rochester, NY
Gregory Mundis, San Diego, CA
John Caridi, New York, NY

Robert B. Winter Global Outreach Fellowship
Ankit S. Patel, Vasai-West, India

Eduardo R. Luque Award
Alexandre Fogaça Cristante, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Global Outreach Program (GOP) Visiting Fellowship
Mandar D. Borde, Pune, India
Nitesh Gahlot, Rajasthan, India
Anne Kathleen B. Ganal-Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines
Nikhil Malewar, Nagpur, India
Abhinandan Mallepally, Vasanth Kunj, India
Najmus Sakeb, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Click here for a complete list of 2019 winners.


Chair: Matthew E. Cunningham Committee: Michael T. Hresko, Past Chair; John M. Wattenbarger, Global Outreach; Firoz Miyanji, Program; Hak-Sun Kim; Cristina Sacramento Dominguez; Jianxiong Shen; Nelson Astur (C); Dong-Gune Chang (C); Nick Sekouris (C); Ajoy P. Shetty (C); Anuj Singla (C); ZeZhang Zhu (C); Mohammed Mossaad (E); Anthony S. Rinella; Alpaslan Senkoylu, Chair Elect; Suken A. Shah; Burt Yaszay; Kenneth J. Paonessa; Joseph H. Perra; David H. Clements, III; Hee Kit Wong

CME Committee Update

Samuel K. Cho, MD
CME Committee Chair

As the chair of the CME committee for SRS, I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 ACCME Annual Meeting in Chicago in early May. The overall theme of the conference was “Spring Forward,” and there were a number of important topics that were addressed, ranging from physician burnout to how to screen for suicidal patients, during the three-day meeting. The interactive sessions in small groups encouraged participation from the attendees and many ideas were shared among us. In particular, one slide that the CEO of the ACCME, Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, shared with us in the beginning of the conference made a deep impression. The translation of the slide to SRS is depicted below. As the Society begins to incorporate the Core Curriculum as a longitudinal educational approach to spine deformity and we create opportunities for personalized and collaborative assessments, I find the Society moving toward what Dr. McMahon considers the new way of CME. As the gap in knowledge and adult learning methodology continue to evolve, the CME committee will continue to promote incorporating the new values espoused by ACCME into the society’s educational offerings.

On a separate point about identifying relevant conflicts of interest, please note that the disclosure process now includes an updated definition of commercial interest from the ACCME. They define the term as “any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.” There is no minimum dollar amount for relationships to be financially significant according to the ACCME. So, next time you are disclosing your financial relationships with commercial interests, remember what the definition of commercial interest is as well as if it is relevant to the content on which you are submitting, presenting, reviewing, etc. We hope this clarification will help reduce the amount of non-commercial interests being disclosed for abstracts and presentations. For any questions, contact Lily in the SRS office,

The CME status of our society continues to remain strong, and those members and staff who are working tireless to remain compliant with ACCME requirements ought to be commended for their efforts.


Chair: Samuel K. Cho Committee: David H. Clements III, Past Chair; Todd J. Albert, Past President I; Burt Yaszay, Education; Michael C. Albert; Ujjwal K. Debnath; John R. Dimar II, Education Council Chair; Bhavuk Garg (C); Paul Park (C); Ryan C. Goodwin; William F. Lavelle; Anthony M. Petrizzo; James T. Bennett; Woojin Cho; Praveen V. Mummaneni

Fellowship Committee Update

Michelle S. Caird, MD
Fellowship Committee Chair

The Committee thoroughly reviews Candidate, Associate and Active applications twice a year providing their recommendations to the Board of Directors (BOD) for final approval at the September and March BOD meetings. Our Fellowship continues to grow at a gradual pace with very enthusiastic and qualified individuals. We are pleased to announce our new 2019 Fellows.

Candidate Members (44)

  • William Accousti, MD
  • Yunus Emre Akman, MD
  • Harry Akoto, MD
  • Akif Albayrak
  • Joshua Bunch, MD
  • Alejandro Dabaghi Richerand
  • Hamish Deverall, FRACS
  • Pablo J. Diaz-collado, MD
  • Arjun Dhawale, MD
  • Gilbert Shawn Duxbury, MD
  • Benjamin Daniel Elder, MD, PhD
  • Ryan E. Fitzgerald, MD
  • Stephen G. George, Jr., MD
  • Lars Valentin Hansen, MD
  • Ali Humadi, MB, ChB, FRACS
  • Kenneth D. Illingworth, MD
  • Amit Jain, MD
  • Ehsan Jazini, MD
  • Amrit S. Khalsa, MD
  • Joseph L. Laratta, MD
  • David Lazarus, MD
  • Luke Macyszyn, MD
  • Daniel J. Miller, MD
  • R. Justin Mistovich, MD
  • Martin J. Morrison III, MD
  • Jeffrey Paul Mullin, MD
  • Naveed Nabizadeh, MD
  • Luigi A. Nasto, MD, PhD
  • Abhay Nene, MD
  • Brian J. Neuman, MD,
  • Peter Obid, MD
  • Mark Oppenlander, MD
  • Nicolas Plais, MD
  • Pooria Salari, MD
  • Samer Samy, MD, PhD
  • Jared J. Seale, Little Rock, AR
  • Julieanne P. Sees, DO, Clifton
  • Takayoshi Shimizu, MD, PhD
  • Alexander A. Theologis, MD
  • Hanneke van West, MD
  • John Vorhies, MD
  • Hai Wang, MD
  • Chase Woodward, MD, MPH

Associate Members (2)

  • Enrico J. Stazzone, MD
  • Yousef Ghandour, PT, MOMT, FAAOMPT

We would also like to draw special attention to the new Active Fellows who have completed the five–year process to become voting members.

New Active Fellows (23)

  • Allan C. Beebe, MD
  • Donald J. Blaskiewicz, MD
  • Shane Burch, MD, FRCS(C)
  • Paul C. Celestre, MD
  • Benjamin R. Cohen, MD, FAANS, FACS
  • Satoru Demura, MD
  • Mazda Farshad, MD, MPH
  • Alberto O. Gotfryd, MD, PhD
  • Michael B. Johnson, MD
  • Mun Keong Kwan, MBBS, MS Orth
  • Robert S. Lee, BSc, MBBS, MRCS,FRCS
  • Addisu Mesfin, MD
  • Ryan D. Muchow, MD
  • Hideki Murakami, MD, PhD
  • Ibrahim Obeid, MD
  • Roger K. Owens II, MD
  • Miguel H. Puigdevall, MD
  • Brandon A. Ramo, MD
  • Shoji Seki, MD, PhD
  • Masood Shafafy, FRCS(Orth)
  • Fernando Techy, MD
  • Patrick B. Wright, MD
  • Jim A. Youssef, MD

Emeritus Fellows (17):

  • Mark A. Barry, MD
  • Ernesto S. Bersusky, MD
  • John Burkus, MD
  • Cody Bünger, MD, DMSc, R, Prof
  • Charles d'Amato, MD, FRCSC
  • Douglas M. Hedden, MD
  • Gregory A. Hoffman, MD
  • Kamal N. Ibrahim, MD, FRCS(C), MA
  • Roger P. Jackson, MD
  • Thomas A. Kula Jr. MD
  • Hossein Mehdian, MD, FRCS(Ed)
  • Daniel Murrey, MD
  • Ian W. Nelson, MBBS, FRCS,MCh(Orth)
  • Yutaka Nohara
  • Edward H. Saer, III, MD
  • Ensor E. Transfeldt, MD
  • H. Randal Woodward, MD

Membership Statistics

We are very happy with the continual growth of SRS membership. We currently have 1369 Fellows from 64 different counties. Every year we have an increase of members from outside of the North America and with the 2019 new members 34% of our membership is from outside the United States.

If you know of someone who would be a great addition to SRS please make sure to direct them to SRS’s website for more information or have them email Alysha Chapman, Membership Manager at for more information.


Chair: Michelle S. Caird Committee: Youssry El-Hawary, Past Chair; Baron S. Lonner, Chair Elect; Jeffrey D. Coe; Matthew Oetgen

Worldwide Course Committee Update

Benny T. Dahl, MD, PhD, DMSci
Worldwide Course Committee Chair

The three main activities for the Worldwide Course Committee are the traditional Worldwide Courses (WWC), the Current Concept in Spine Deformity Courses (CCSD) and the Spine Deformity Solutions: A Hands-On Course (SDS). This year a combined CCSD and SDS has been tried for the first time.

The first WWC in 2019 was held in conjunction with the ASSICON meeting in Ahmedabad, India and was organized as two half-day courses on January 24-25. The meeting was very well attended with approximately 200 participating surgeons and the conference theme was Controversies & Complications in Spine Surgery. This meeting underscored the close relationship between the Indian spine community and the Scoliosis Research Society.

The second meeting was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Mexican National Orthopedic Society in Querétaro, April 27-28. The meeting consisted of two half-day programs and was very well arranged with high attendance both days.

The third meeting was held in conjunction with SILACO in Barcelona, May 29.

The first combined CCSD and SDS was held in Istanbul May 8-11. In accordance with the experience from the SDS in Istanbul in 2015 the facilities were excellent. Generally, the combined format was well received, but there were challenges and when the evaluation has been completed, the committee will decide if the format should be changed.

The remaining WWC activities in 2019 are SDS in Bangkok, November 1-3 and CCSD in Tokyo, December 13-14.

A conference call with the committee members was held March 31, 2019. Considering the fact that members of the committee are located all over the world, a high number of colleagues attended the call. The primary purpose of the meeting was to review the remaining course activities in 2019, as well as initiate a dialogue about activities in 2020.

For 2020 the plan is:

  • Cartagena, Columbia, February 21 (WWC)
  • Dubai, UAE, February 27 - March 1 (CCSD)
  • Shenzhen, China, May 29-30 (WWC)
  • Nijmegen, the Netherlands, June 18-20 (SDS)
  • Warsaw, Poland, fall of 2020 (CCSD)
  • Singapore, November 12-14 (SDS)

The committee will meet during the Annual Meeting in Montréal, Tuesday, September 17. That will be my last committee meeting as chair of the WWC and Saumyajit Basu will take over. I want to thank the members of the committee for their support for the last three years. It has been an honor to serve as chair and I will continue as past chair looking forward to supporting Dr. Basu.


Chair: Benny T. Dahl Committee: Burt Yaszay, Education; Morio Matsumoto; Firoz Miyanji; Yat Wa Wong; J. Michael Wattenbarger, Global Outreach; Dean Chou (C); Alexandre F. Cristante (C); Mohammadresza Etemadifar (C); D. Kojo Hamilton (C); Manish K. Kasliwal (C); Deniz Konya (C); Robert S. Lee (C); Jonathan N. Sembrano (C); Kwadwo Poku Yankey (C); Feng Zhu (C); Saumyajit Basu, Chair Elect; Steven M. Mardjetko; Martin Repko; John A.I. Ferguson; Hossein Mehdian; Timothy S. Oswald

Program Committee Update

Firoz Miyanji, MD, FRCSC
Program Committee Chair

This year the SRS Annual Meeting and IMAST programs once again received a record number of abstract submissions. Mirroring the past five years, there were greater than 1700 abstracts submitted for review. The abstract submission process was handled this year by the DEKON company, but we will be moving to One World Presentation Management starting in August 2019 when submission for IMAST 2020 opens – please note the change in date for IMAST submission which is now official! We are hoping for higher efficiency with One World than other programs we have used in the past.

Our review process this year was similar to previous years with the process spanning the month of February. In addition to the Program Committee members, we also drew on other members of the SRS for a total of 75 reviewers. The reviewers worked diligently and in a blinded fashion grading all abstracts. Each abstract was graded by five different reviewers, and the Program Committee members were then tasked in developing the SRS Annual Meeting and the IMAST programs during the abstract selection meeting in March at the AAOS. I am proud to announce that 171 outstanding abstracts were chosen as podium presentations at the upcoming Annual Meeting in Montréal and 75 abstracts were chosen for E-posters. In addition 12 case reports were also included as podium presentation during the Case-Based Discussion session at the Annual Meeting. For the IMAST meeting in Amsterdam this coming July, 75 excellent Podium presentations and 120 E-Posters were selected all with minimum 1-year follow-up to enhance the scientific content.

I am delighted to share that there were a number of Level 1 randomized controlled trials that will be presented at the Annual Meeting and am excited to say that we have a superb program lined up in Montréal with great themes, sound research methodology, a balance of pediatric and adult papers, and topics to engage all of the membership. It has been a fascinating insight into the great research that the members of the SRS are conducting on a global scale.

The preliminary program for the upcoming SRS Annual Meeting is now available on our website.


Chair: Firoz Miyanji Committee: Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Past Chair; Stephen J. Lewis; Isador H. Lieberman; Keith R. Bachmann (C); Carlos E. Barsotti (C); Eugenio Dema (C); Joseph P. Gjolaj (C); Jeffrey L. Gum (C); Stuart H. Hershman (C); Deniz Konya (C); Joshua Murphy (C); Dominique A. Rothenfluh (C); Nicholas Spina (C); Ferran Pellise; John T. Smith; Lindsay Andras, Chair Elect; Samuel K. Cho, CME; Amer F. Samdani; Sebastien Charosky; Michael P. Kelly

Education Resource Committee Update

Teresa Bas, MD, PhD
Education Resource Committee Chair

The SRS Education Resources Committee, led by Teresa Bas and Ron El Hawary, is continuing to review, revise and update the existing E-text chapters to ensure their educational integrity before incorporating them into new SRS 9 core curriculum domains. Currently the committee members have reviewed 15 existing chapters and are writing 8 new chapters to fill in gaps in the content of the current educational content. The Growing Spine Committee and Adult Deformity Committee have also been tasked to create new and current topics for their domains and are removing 7 obsolete chapters while combining 8 additional chapters. The new ASD chapters for 2019 already underway include:

  1. State of the art: Biomechanics of Spinal Fixation
  2. Radiation in Spine Deformity
  3. Cervical Deformity
  4. Proximal Junction Kyphosis
  5. Scoliosis Specific Exercises/PJK
  6. State of the art on minimally invasive Spine Surgery in Deformity
  7. Pre-op Optimization
  8. State of the art on Osteotomies for the management of spinal deformity
  9. State of the art on Predictive Modeling in Spine Surgery (to include frailty as a predictor of complications)
  10. Safety on complex spine surgery
  11. Infection Prevention
  12. SI Joint Disease
  13. State of the art on Clinical Outcomes in Deformity Surgery
  14. New technologies in Spine Deformity Surgery-Robotics and Navigation
  15. Safety in Complex Spine Surgery Workup and management principles of adult spinal deformity
  16. Patient selection for minimally invasive approaches to adult spinal deformity

The chapters are up to date reviews of the topics, well referenced with the opportunity to potentially be condensed into State-of-the-Art Reviews (SAR), with this effort being spear headed by Sig Berven, for publication after peer review in the Spinal Deformity Journal.

The SRS has provided extensive resources to support the new ERC committee, which is serving as the main driver of reviewing, creating and organizing the SRS global educational output into a concise educational platform accessible to spinal deformity experts worldwide for training and reference. Additionally, the hope is to eventually support this educational platform by employing an online learning management system. In addition to the original content created by the committees, the Domains will serve to prioritize key educational concepts form the Annual Meeting, IMAST, WWC, our expanding Webinars and Video Educational content into their easily searchable Core Curriculum domains for CME opportunities. The committee has enthusiastically embraced this project, with the critical help of the SRS staff and hope to continue to expand the multi-year development and organization of the societies educational content.


Chair: Teresa Bas Committee: Amer Samdani, Past Chair; A. Noelle Larson; Mauricio Montalvo; Mohammed M. Mossaad (E); Matthew E. Oetgen; Juan S. Uribe; Kariman Abelin Genevois (C); Joseph F. Baker (C); Paolma Bas Hermida (C); Shane Burch (C); Paul C. Celestre (C); Dean Chou (C); D. Kojo Hamilton (C); Christina K. Hardesty (C); Wade K. Jensen (C); Daniel G. Kang (C); Michael P. Kelly (C); Calvin C. Kuo (C); Kenny Kwan (C); Addisu Mesfin (C); Luiz Muller Avila (C); Andrea Piazzolla (C); Kris Radcliff (C); Dominique A. Rothenfluh (C); Daniel M. Sciubba (C); Qianyu Zhuang (C); Andre LF Andujar; Donita I. Bylski-Austrow; Kern H. Guppy; Yukihiro Matsuyama; Theodore J. Choma; Charles H. Crawford; Ryan C. Goodwin; Robert K. Lark; Ron El-Hawary, Chair Elect