June 2017

President's Message

SRS representation around the world!

April and May have been very busy months for SRS faculties and the Presidential Line, with commitments to different meetings around the world.

In April, SRS was part of the Ganga Operative Spine Course in Ganga, India, and organized a World Wide Course in association with Brazilian Spine Congress and SILACO in Rio de Janeiro. While in May, I represented SRS at EPOSNA (combined meeting of the European and North American Pediatric Orthopaedic Societies) in Barcelona and gave a presidential guest lecture during the SOSORT meeting in Lyon, France. While at the same time in Milan, SRS ran two symposia during the Global Spine Congress. Our education machinery is running full throttle. Looking ahead in June, we will have a Hands-On Course in Nijmegen, Netherlands, which is already sold out, while in July we have our annual IMAST meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.

All of these meetings underlines SRS’s determination to provide education on a global basis to all who demands it. At the time of writing, we had just finished a very successful education retreat in London (see picture 1). We are beginning to put together a roadmap for enhancements to our educational efforts, to ensure that we stay as leaders in spinal deformity education in the years to come; more of this in future reports.

I would also like to take a moment to reflect on my attendance of the SOSORT meeting in Lyon. Each year, the president is invited as a guest of SOSORT and deliver a plenary lecture. This gave me an opportunity to meet lots of professionals involved in the conservative care of spine deformity patients (see picture 2).

Topics discussed included optimal bracing materials, bracing methodologies, 3D correction with braces, coronal versus horizontal plane correction, bracing of larger curves, and bracing of chest wall deformities. I feel that with the findings of the recent BRAIST study demonstrating its effectiveness in preventing progression in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, we shall be seeing a lot more innovation in bracing. The meeting gave me a glimpse into this world of conservative care, and I am reminded that SRS is dedicated to the optimal care of patients with spinal deformity,” including conservative care. I look forward to seeing developments in this space, and to hear more of the research in this area in our flagship meetings.

I would like to end with a quote from Jean Dubousset, a lifetime honorary member of SOSORT and an emeritus SRS member:

“Alignment is static, balance is dynamic”…

and leave you all with the thought that perhaps we need better tools to assess this dynamic element of the spine and not to be obsessed with radiographs and Cobb angles.

I look forward to seeing many of you during the IMAST meeting in Cape Town.

Kenneth MC Cheung, MBBS(UK), MD(HK), FRCS, FHKCOS, FHKAM(Orth)
SRS President 2016-2017