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  • Section Update: Section on Disorders of the Spine & Peripheral Nerves

    Author: Juan Uribe, MD

    The 35th annual meeting of the Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves (DSPN) took place on March 14 – 17th 2019 in Miami, Florida with a record number of 600+ surgeons in attendance and more than 50 exhibiting companies. The iconic Fointainbleau Miami Beach was packed with top spine faculty leaders from around the world, provocative debates and great social activities. Together, we celebrated the meeting theme of Technical Innovation for Restoring Patient Function.

    The program began Thursday in the afternoon with special courses including Deformity, Robotics, Navigation, Oral boards preparation and a Hands on cadaveric workshop. The day finished outdoors with thhe opening reception bringing spectacular ocean views while enjoying a lavish array of food and beverages as all participants networked with friends and colleagues.

    On Friday, the scientific program started early with presentations of challenging cases followed by motivational speeches by Meritorious Members Awards recipients Drs. Ian Kalfas, Robert Heary and Rolando Garcia. Dr Michael Wang, the Society president, closed the session with the chairman’s address.

    Later in the morning controversial topics were presented by key opinion leaders with an emphasis on the opioid epidemic and sports trauma. The afternoon was filled with the innovative Technology Special session that described and discussed the impact of technological advances in improving patient care and outcomes.

    Fridays' activities concluded with a special general session featuring light-hearted debates over refreshments. Prominent spinal luminaries such as Drs. Charles L. Branch, Joseph S. Cheng, Jeffrey Goldstein, James S. Harrop, Roger Hartl, Matthew J. McGirt, Pierce D. Nunley, Daniel K.Resnick, Gerald E. Rodts, Daniel M. Sciubba, Justin S. Smith, Vincent C.Traynelis, Luis M. Tumialan, Christopher E. Wolfla gave competing arguments (both compelling and entertaining) on controversial topics such as minimally invasive trauma surgery, robotic spine surgery and spinal surgery on ambulatory surgery centers. This year’s meeting was enhanced by the addition of audience participation. Through the meeting’s mobile phone app, general attendees were able to vote in real time with the debate winners displayed on the overhead screen.

    More than 200 abstracts were delivered throughout the meeting as both young and established speakers commanded the podium in focused specialty breakout sessions including deformity, tumor, trauma, MIS, and peripheral nerve groups. Mentors in DSPN history were memorialized by the presentation of the JANE Award, Mayfield Award and Kuntz Scholars Awards, which were created in honor of the lifelong contributions made to the section and the field by Dr. John Jane Sr. and Dr. Charlie Kuntz IV, and delivered to more than 30 young neurosurgeons. Lunch symposia tackled the management of the Sacro-iliac joint, advances on spinal implants and the latest in spinal navigation/robotics.

    Saturday kicked-off with the plenary session in an exciting interbody (death) cage match with Drs. Sigurd Berven, Michael W. Groff, James S. Harrop, Paul K. Kim, Frank M. Phillips, Paul J. Slosar, Michael P. Steinmetz, closed with the Meritorious members awards on spine to Dr. John A. Wilson and Peripheral Nerves to Dr. Rajiv Midha. In the afternoon the APRN and PA’s enjoyed a complementary dedicated spinal seminary with special emphasis on team work, communication and use of order sets.

    Saturday Afternoon provided the opportunity to go golfing or deep sea fishing with colleagues and friends for a lifetime experience.

    The Spine Summit concluded on Sunday with the David Cahill Memorial Controversies. Historically, this session features back-and forth discussion by esteemed panelists over controversial clinical scenarios. The session included debates covering MIS procedures, tumor surgery, management of scoliosis, spinal navigation and sacral-iliac fixation.

    Overall, the 2019 Spine Summit - Annual Meeting of the DSPN was a great success. It was truly a celebration of Spinal Technical Innovations and established procedures for Restoring Patient Function. Further details of the meeting can be found at the DSPN website:

    Planning for next year’s meeting is already underway. Mark your calendar for Spine Summit 2020 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas, Nevada March 5-8. 

    > More than 200 abstracts were delivered throughout the meeting as both young and established speakers commanded the podium in focused specialty breakout sessions including deformity, tumor, trauma, mis, and peripheral nerve groups. <

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