September 2018

Historian Corner

George H. Thompson, MD
SRS Historian

2018 has been a busy year for the History Committee but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.  We have had a significant number of deaths in our membership, including two founding members.


In June, Behrooz Akbarnia, Jay Shapiro, Ashtin Neuschaefer and I visited the SRS Archives at the University of Kansas Medical Center.   Our main purpose was to review artifacts that just arrived regarding the late George F. Dommisse of South Africa and Alf L. Nachemson of Sweden.  Dr. Dommisse’s material on his studies of blood flow to the spinal cord was donated by Evalina Berger from Denver, CO and that on Dr. Nachemson from his associate Dr. Aina Danielsson from Sweden.  The latter consisted of his previous notes, publications and other material.  The material from both individuals is in the process of being sorted and catalogued by our archivists.


Thus far this year we have lost or been notified of the recent passing of 9 SRS members, including two founding members.  These will all be honored at the annual meeting in Bologna, Italy, October 10-13, 2018.

Founding SRS Members

John E. Hall, MD
April 23, 1925 - March 22, 2018

Gordon W.D. Armstrong, CM, MD, FRCSC
August 17, 1923 - June 24, 2018

Other SRS Members

Ernest Letourneau, MD, CCBOM, DSc
March 14, 1937 - June 22, 2016

Min H. Mehta, FRCS
November 1, 1926 - August 23, 2017

Henry V. Crock, MD, FRCS, FRACS, DSc
September 14, 1929 - April 21, 2018

James E. Ricciardi, MD
April 28, 1942 - November 22, 2017

David B. Stevens, MD
July 11, 1929 - February 6, 2017

John M. Gray, MD
May 27, 1943 - January 17, 2018

Robert M. Campbell Jr, MD
May 7, 1951 - July 29, 2018

Look for complete obituaries on several of these members in Spine Deformity, the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics or both.

IMAST 2018

IMAST 2018 held in Los Angeles, CA July 11-14, 2018 was again a very successful meeting.  It was the 25th anniversary of this meeting.  There was a historical display on the development of IMAST as well as comments from previous chairs, especially Randy Betz, MD who chaired the initial meetings.

50 Years Ago…

Did you know that 50 years ago, the first natural history study of scoliosis, A Long Term Follow-Up Study of Non-Treated Scoliosis, was published by Alf L. Nachemson, MD, PhD in Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica. This paper was the first to report on a large series of untreated scoliosis patients. The report does not have radiographic information nor does it have accurate diagnoses, however, it is still an influential report with regard to the mortality rate of untreated sever scoliosis due to cardiopulmonary disease.

2018 also marks the 50th anniversary of the first SRS Morbidity Report. This report was presented by G. Dean MacEwen, MD at the 3rd SRS Annual Meeting and included the neurological complications in scoliosis.

Do you submit your yearly Morbidity & Mortality data? Below is the original M&M data collection cards. Data was collected by pulling string through the appropriate holes.


These facts and more can be found on the SRS Historical Timeline,


Chair: George H. Thompson Committee: Behrooz A. Akbarnia, Past Chair; Jay Shapiro; David B. Bumpass (C); Pooria Hosseini (C); Ahmed S. Mohamed (C); Hani H. Mhaidli; Andrew G. King; Acke Ohlin (E); Patricia N. Kostial (A)