December 2016

Research Council Update

Frank Schwab, MD
Research Council Chair

 The Research Council (RC) interacts between the Board and various committees, ensuring smooth communication and achievement of mutually set goals. The RC includes the following committees: Adult Deformity, Growing Spine, Morbidity & Mortality (M&M), Non-Operative Management, and Research Grants. A brief synopsis of current priorities is as follows:

Adult Deformity: Chair, Ram Mudiyam, MD, MBA

A Sagittal Alignment patient brochure has gone through several revisions in cooperation with and the Patient Education Committee. This is anticipated to be completed this year. Additionally, a review paper on MIS and cervical aspects of spinal deformity will be written. A key new topic for the committee relates to shared decision making, with the goal of developing a document outlining risks of ASD surgery and being a resource for surgeons and patients during discussion of treatment and particularly surgical care. The recently distributed survey was one element of this project.

Growing Spine: Chair, Scott Luhman, MD

An important effort within this committee has been to develop a webinar. This will be offered free to members and will broaden the role of the SRS in educational opportunities. Learnings from this effort will poise the society to offer direct learning opportunities and perhaps offer CME online through a series of webinars. The committee also plans to pursue a membership survey related to Magec use and will update a white paper on early onset scoliosis.

Morbidity & Mortality:  Chair, Darell Hansen, MD

The ongoing focus of this committee is to ensure reporting by the membership and offer value back to the members through reviews, publication and evolution of the database (ex. infection, return to OR). While most data requests come from SRS members, the committee will also pursue internal projects should there be a lull in member requests. In order to provide regular value to members, anonymous reports on M&M data for individuals will be sent out offering benchmark values of the larger membership pool. The committee is also exploring additional ‘optional’ fields for deeper data.

Non-Operative Management: Chair, Richard Hostin, MD

The committee ran a Lunchtime Symposium at the Annual Meeting and is awaiting feedback and interest by membership for future educational events. An ongoing task also relates to monitoring activity by the USPSTF on the topic of early detection for AIS. A new activity of the committee is submission of a survey examining variations of the membership in regards to bracing for AIS: indications/time worn, monitoring of brace use, weaning.

 Research Grants: Chair, Patrick Cahill, MD

This committee plays a critical role for SRS in supporting research across the spectrum of spinal deformity. Ongoing activities relate to grant reviews of the numerous submissions in the bi-yearly funding cycle. As the level of submissions has steadily gone up, funding has become more competitive and the committee will be tracking the long-term success of grantees and conversion to larger grants once SRS support ends. There is an ongoing need for external reviewers in genetics research.

Evidence Based Medicine and 3D Task Forces

The Evidence Based Medicine Task Force has completed the work they were tasked to accomplish. The final papers are awaiting publication. Thus the Task Force has been disbanded.

Likewise, the 3D Task Force has been working diligently for several years and will continue their work outside of the SRS Task Force structure. SRS will continue to provide encouragement and meeting space for the group during the SRS Annual Meeting.