December 2015

Research Council Update

Frank Schwab, MD
Research Council Chair

The Research Council comprises the following committees: Adult Deformity, Growing Spine, Morbidity & Mortality (M&M), Non-Operative Management and Research Grant. Additionally, the following task forces are included: Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and 3D Scoliosis Task Force. Key highlights to note are:

Adult Deformity: An Adult Deformity Review Paper is under revision for submission to Spine Deformity Journal. PJK remains a key topic where support and collaboration with ongoing efforts will continue. An informed consent project will examine shared decision approaches for ASD surgery. Further understanding of 2-surgeon (1 surgeon + expert assistant) surgery will be pursued and consensus developed on when this is most suitable.

Growing Spine: Past charges have been completed on new website content and E-Text. Opportunities to develop further collaboration with study groups will be explored. Efforts will focus on how to develop further educational content: ICL’s on growing spine, webinars and whiteboard animation.

M&M:  Accuracy of data collection has been established in validation with other large database reports. A member survey revealed general ease of data entry, most done by MD’s. Data mining revealed lower mortality in high volume practices. Ongoing statistical analysis will yield more useful findings to the SRS membership. New module development includes unplanned return to OR in 90 days, will go live 2016. In an effort to increase value to members, options will be explored such as sending of report cards directly back to each member and posting bibliography on the SRS website. 

Non-Operative Management: The SOSORT collaboration has produced a brace classification (to be published in Scoliosis journal). An SRS/POSNA/AAP/AAOS statement on Early Detection was approved by the SRS Board of Directors and endorsed by the AAP. A proposed Half-Day Course for Annual Meeting & Course in Prague, 2016 will offer evidence based education on bracing and scoliosis-specific exercises in the setting of AIS and ASD.

Research Grant Committee: The committee awarded six grants in the last cycle for a total of approximately $144,000.  The Fall cycle grant quality and volume are up considerably (now over 35 submitted). A simple reporting mechanism is being developed to track what happens to grantees 1-2 years (or more) after project completion with the goal of finding out who gets published and who gets additional funding and takes things to the next level.

EBM Task Force: Three papers from the Spondylolysis systematic review were completed. Solid progress on Spondylolisthesis Systematic Review has occurred with abstracts pulled by Charlie Ledonio, MD and UMinn team (1000 abstracts). The task force feels that competence within SRS is being developed to do EBM but it is done by a very small group and the impact on larger membership is unclear. The committee will now explore how identified gaps will lead to research in order to respond to need for data.

3D Scoliosis Task Force:  Efforts on the 3D classification were presented at the 50th Annual Meeting Lunchtime Symposium and as a poster at the 22nd IMAST. First draft of 3D classification of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis has been completed and submitted for publication. Ongoing efforts are focusing on utilizing 3D classification in surgical planning. One project is supported by the Canadian government and a grant from OREF: Prospective Multi-center analysis on 3D factors involved in the decision to perform a selective vs. non-selective fusion in AIS”; 2012-2015. This work is complementary to the one of the SRS 3D Scoliosis Task Force and involves a few committee members.