March 2018

President's Message

Todd J. Albert, MD
SRS President 2017-2018

The start of 2018 has been a busy time for the SRS, ending a strong 2017 with educational, research, and advocacy activities. We had an excellent course chair training that was held in New York at Hospital for Special Surgery in December led by our educational consultant, Joe Green, as well as past president and Education Task Force chair, Ken Cheung. There was tremendous involvement from both international and regional representatives who are course chairs for the upcoming year. Ken will highlight this in his column.

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Ethics Corner

Ioannis Avramis, MD
Ethics & Professionalism Committee Member

In this issue’s letter from the ethics committee we wanted to try something new. We are going to present a fictitious case based on elements of real cases with ethical dilemmas. There will be a few multiple choice questions within the article. The response to these questions will be in the form of an electronic survey, please click on the "Done" button at the end of the article to register your responses. We hope to post the results in the next SRS Newsletter issue.

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Historian Corner

George H. Thompson, MD
SRS Historian

This year, we celebrate the 25th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST). Originally named the American-European Meeting on Pedicle Fixation of the Spine & Other Advanced Techniques, the first meeting was held July 1-2, 1994 in Munich, Germany.

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Education Task Force Update

Kenneth MC Cheung, MD
Education Task Force Chair

The role of the Education Task Force is to help formulate a plan to enhance the education programs within SRS with reference to the latest adult learning principles.

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Global Outreach Committee Update

J. Michael Wattenbarger, MD
Global Outreach Committee Chair

Members of the Global Outreach committee met at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. A large amount of the discussion centered around the role of the SRS in acting as a clearing house for spinal implants for developing world countries.

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Research Grants Committee Update

Leah Y. Carreon, MD, MSc
Research Grants Committee Chair

During the most recent review cycle, a new review scoring and comment process was implemented. While there were some technical issues that occurred (and are being resolved), the new process provided a more even scoring pattern and more detailed comments on each application.

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Safety & Value Committee Update

Michael G. Vitale, MD, MPH
Safety & Value Committee Chair

The Safety and Value Committee continues to have a productive year. Committee Members are working on an invited, “state of the art,” review on safety in deformity surgery, to be published in the Spine Deformity Journal this spring.

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Coding Committee Update

R. Dale Blasier, MD, FRCS(C), MBA
Coding Committee Advisory Member

Complications of Spine Surgery in ICD-10

The ICD-10 tabular list of codes offers great granularity and variety in the description of complications which may occur associated with spinal surgery. The ICD-10 codes were initially developed for epidemiology but now have developed into a major mechanism for documenting medical necessity for medical or surgical treatment. Payers routinely consider ICD-10 codes in determining payment decisions for treatment of post-op complications.

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Growing Spine Committee Update

James O. Sanders, MD
Growing Spine Committee Chair

The SRS Growing Spine Committee has several priorities this year. Educationally, the committee has a webinar planned for June on challenges in early onset scoliosis including whether we actually help lung function, the anesthesia risk in children, and selection and challenges of the various early onset scoliosis growth friendly devices. Additionally, we are working with the E-Text Committee on updating the early onset scoliosis content and also with the Education Task Force on proper growing spine content for the Core Curriculum.

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Communications Committee Update

Vidyadhara Srinivasa, MS, DNB, FNB
Communications Committee Chair

Greetings! The Communications Committee has been successfully delivering the quarterly Newsletter of the SRS on time as before. The Newsletter is aimed to disseminate information about SRS activities and opportunities in order to increase engagement of all SRS members in society activities. We are working with the Website Committee in promoting the value and benefits of SRS (research, education, etc.) through the website, newsletter, and other communication avenues.

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E-Text Committee Update

Amer F. Samdani, MD
E-Text Committee Chair

The E-Text Committee is continuing to review, revise, and update the existing E-Text chapters on the website. Currently, 12 chapters are undergoing revision in an effort to keep the information fresh and up to date. Two new chapters have been completed and will be uploaded soon -  “Risk Stratification for Adult Deformity” and “Genetic Prognostic Testing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.”  In addition, we are consolidating E-text content to limit the total number of chapters.

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Website Committee Update

Todd Milbrandt, MD, MS
Website Committee Chair

The website committee has been working through previous initiatives. We continue to monitor the look and feel of the new website and its impact on our readership. In addition, a manuscript is in progress documenting that change. The committee also continues to update and upgrade the current site and would encourage our members to submit problems they see with the site to me.

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