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UKSSB Quarterly eBulletin
June 2017

Concept and Purpose of this Bulletin

This is an attempt to inform and thereby empower the spinal services community. It is designed to:

  • Provide an immediate overview of the several workstreams which currently, or in the near future, will directly affect spinal services both within and without the NHS; and which organisations and individuals are contributing to these. 
  • Share knowledge of the different societies’ news and developments that may be of relevance without those societies themselves. (It is not intended to replace or duplicate the content of individual societies’ newsletters).
  •  Provide a précis of the continuing work of advisory bodies which impact on our subject (NICE, Acute Oncology Measures, etc) 
  • Provide a notice board for:
    • Spinal and other relevant society events
    • Non-clinical posts of professional interest (RCS, JCST, BOA Board of Examiners, NICE, GMC, etc)
  •  It is not intended that this eBulletin will be exhaustive, rather a rapid digest to inform and point to more detailed resources (as e-links, where available, or to relevant websites). The UKSSB website now has a reference document section to which additions will be made as they evolve. 

Suggestions for improvements are very welcome. Please send these to


Alistair Stirling - UKSSB Chair


Writing this editorial immediately prior to an increasingly uncertain general election leads to reflection on current tides in spinal care and surgery. Having recently returned from the European Spinal Societies Advisory Board meeting in Munich it is clear that similar, albeit to date, less marked pressures are being felt across Europe. From presentations and discussion Belgium, Germany and Finland have now all combined representation from both the surgical and non-surgical elements of spinal care for the purposes of dialogue with government, relevant statutory bodies and healthcare funding agencies. They believe this is essential to avoid being manipulated through division.

Whatever the election outcome here it appears likely that there will be continuing, if not increased pressure on spinal surgery to justify its position not only for axial back pain and adult deformity surgery but also for discectomy, and decompression for stenosis. Being able to justify intervention to commissioners on the basis of good results, low complication and readmission rates from unit based (nb not individual) documented registry figures will potentially be an important justification for continuing provision. Support from our non-surgical colleagues in correct representation of the place of, and excellent results of appropriate surgery will have credibility that our own representation from vested interest lacks.

The Spinal Services Clinical Reference Group’s workplan for 2017-18 has been signed off by NHSE (chaired by Ashley Cole - please see his report below). This is in the process of preparing “dashboards” with key performance indicators to enable comparison of intervention and outcomes. In addition NHSE funding has now been found to continue implementation and support of the Improving Spinal Care project. The national back and radicular pain pathway component of this is intrinsically dependent on surgical support of our Specialist Spinal Triage practitioner colleagues. Elaine Buchanan has kindly contributed a report from the nascent National Back Pain Clinical Network (NBP-CN) evolving to represent this and related AHPs. An initial meeting of this group together with the Regional Spinal Networks clinical leads and commissioner representatives is being arranged in Birmingham on Wednesday 6th September. Please encourage established or intending Spinal Triage Practitioners or other fulltime spinal AHPs (not at this stage general or MSK physiotherapists, this is not a training meeting) to attend. The flyer is attached and a provisional programme will follow shortly.

Other clouds on the horizon are identified in Lee Breakwell’s Secretary report which picks up on the change in compensation for adverse medical and other events and perhaps in part, consequent decision by the MDU not to offer indemnity cover for spinal surgery.

On all of these fronts the more united spinal care is the more our voice is likely to be heard.

UKSSB Succession

At the last Board meeting interviews took place for the posts of chair and treasurer.
Patrick Statham, a spinal surgeon from Edinburgh, has been appointed Chair. This is the first time the chair is from a neurosurgical background and it is hoped will further enhance evolution of the spinal specialty. It is also important because Scotland has not gone down the route of the progressive privatisation now occurring, without political mandate, in England. It is hoped that this may enable enlightened comparison with application on both sides of the border.
An interesting contrast is the appointment of Neil Orpen as Treasurer. He initially trained in South Africa and subsequently undertook higher surgical training In the UK. He now works wholly in the private sector with the necessary familiarity with financial matters that this inevitably brings. This will be put to good purpose in his new role.
Thank you very much to both for taking on these roles at this formative time.

UKSSB Constitution and Finances

The revised constitution has been agreed and is in the process of being signed off by all Societies with revised financial arrangements being finalised, both of which will be published in the next edition.

The Spinal GIRFT report is now in the final stages of preparation and its recommendations are likely to have broad application. Publication is anticipated by the end of July.

Niall Eames (Education) reports inter alia an encouraging dialogue with Health Education England that will hopefully achieve establishment of a Spinal Surgery Training Interface group.

Whatever the election outcome, to date we remain relatively fortunate in international terms, and should remember Churchill’s dictum “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” In current circumstance however the form of PR (prevalent in Europe that does not require a chaperone) might dampen some of the wilder policy oscillation and allow the NHS breathing space and funding to assist recovery.

New Members of the UKSSB Executive Board

Following on from a successful BASS 2017 conference in March, we can confirm that Stuart Blagg, president of BASS has now joined the Executive Board in place of the past-President, Am Rai.

Office Matters

Interviews for the UKSSB Executive Assistant have now taken place and we are pleased to announce that Henry Dodds has been recruited into the role.

Address: BOA Offices, The Royal College of Surgeons of England, 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, LONDON, WC2A 3PE
Telephone Number: 020 7406 1768
Working Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm



Nick Birch

No update since March Spine Matters eBulletin. This will follow in September.

Secretary’s Report

Lee Breakwell - June 2017

The BOA is currently working on two main education streams that link to Spine. The long-term plan to launch Wikipaedics, an online resource for FRCS (Tr&Orth), has been approved. This will require writing of content aimed specifically at the exam curriculum. The exam is based upon critical reasoning rather than knowledge recall, and as such this resource will be very different from other online offerings. Creation of this form of education resource is more onerous and complex than usual, and as such the Spinal community, through BASS and BSS will work closely with the BOA to produce this for the benefit of future trainees.
The second stream is a complete rewriting of the simulation curriculum for training, and as such expertise from the spinal world is again required to aid in the creation of this vital component of modern surgical training. Please contact Niall Eames (UKSSB / BOA Edcomm) or Aprajay Golash (SBNS Edcomm) both of BASS Education if you feel you can contribute to either work area.

Due to pressure applied by FIPO supported by the BOA, publication of Surgeon level data has at least been postponed. The plan is for a staged rollout of unit level data over the next year, with a view to pursuing surgeon level publication from possibly as early as next year. The BOA and the RCS both stand very strongly, with a clear evidence based argument, against surgeon level data release.

Discount rate changes.

The Lord Chancellors decision to lower the discount rate for compensation calculation from 2.5% to an historic -0.75% has already seen a major shift in our Indemnity world. This rate enables calculation of long-term requirements for pay-outs, and as such supposedly recognises the high inflation and low interest rate situation nationally. This serves to significantly increase the initial payment to account for this reduction over potentially decades. As a direct result indemnity providers recognise the immediate risk of a surge in compensation award values. As another direct result the MDU has unilaterally decided to cease offering indemnity cover for any form of spinal surgery for any surgeon. Sadly this was not announced, and members were not contacted directly. Apparently the MDU intends to inform each member at the normal three week reminder stage, whilst pointing out that at that stage they are on their own!


Britspine 2018

Almas Khan and Alistair Stirling


The program is developing well.

There will be a pre-meeting day (Tuesday 20th March 2018) which will include:

• Cadaver laboratory
• Spinal Masterclass
• National Back Pain Clinical Network ( NBP-CN) implementation meeting for AHPs, Regional Spinal network leads ,
commissioners and interested surgeons

The main meeting (Wednesday 21st –Friday 23rd March) will include clinical topics ranging through:

• Inherited spinal disorders including dysplasias and the role of surgery
• Inflammatory spinal conditions and the role of surgery
• Central mechanisms of pain relative to surgery for axial back pain
• Debate on Surgery for Axial Back Pain
• Spinal Oncology
• Thoraco-lumbar burst fractures

Other topical issues to include:

• Spine strategy session including:
• Keynote (hopefully) from CEO or medical director NHSE (depending on election etc)
• National back and radicular pain pathway , Regional Spinal Networks , Spinal GIRFT and implications
• Debate on the funding of healthcare with international comparisons and speakers
• Society AGMs

There will be the usual free paper sessions.

Abstract submission - There will be a 3 month abstract window commencing at the beginning of July and closing at the end of September. Please note reviewers will be instructed to accept papers with original content and of high scientific value only.

An exciting social programme is being developed with the main dinner in Leeds Armouries.

Abstract Submissions

Abstract submission window dates are planned for 1st July to 30th September 2017, with a maximum word count of 250 (with an
additional 20 for the title), No tables or illustrations. Themes that abstracts will be allocated to are as follows:

- Genetic / Inherited spinal disorders
- Inflammatory spinal conditions
- Spinal oncology
- Degenerative spinal conditions
- Trauma of the spine

Further details about the Abstract process and where to submit them will be sent out shortly to all Society Members.

UKSSB Funding Applications

Funding Applications
Link to UKSSB Funding Application Form


Spinal Services Clinical Reference Group

Ashley Cole

NHSE have approved the Spinal Services CRG Work Plan for 2017/18 including:

- Revision of the Specialised Spinal Surgery Service Specification
- Revision of the Spinal Cord Injuries Service Specification
- Production of a Quality Dashboard for Spinal Surgery

o A long list of quality assurance indicators has been produced and a process developed to finalise the items for the dashboard
o We are working closely with the Spinal Societies and GIRFT


- Review of the Spinal Cord Injuries Dashboard
- Policy for growth modulating procedures in scoliosis

o A provisional Policy Proposal is almost finalised


- Implement the approved recommendations of the Spinal Cord Injuries Service and Peer Reviews

o This is now through the first of 4 NHSE Gateways (the most difficult one) and means that some change will occur. A case for change is being prepared for the next Gateway.


Improving Spinal Care Project

Ashley Cole

NHSE have provided 2 days a week to support the Improving Spinal Care Project which will also be supported by the Spinal Services CRG and the 3 Clinical Champions, Ashley Cole, David Cumming and Tim Pigott.

National Pathway for Back and Radicular Pain

• Currently awaiting NICE endorsement
• About 20% of CCGs have adopted the pathway or have a very similar model
• We are hoping to hold a national meeting for the clinical leads and commissioners of spinal triage services
• The Regional Spinal Networks will push the Pathway in their areas

Regional Spinal Networks

• Strong regional groups demonstrating good governance and collection of outcome measures are more likely to resist the impact of reduced funding. We are better off working together.

• There are currently 13 Regional Spinal Networks all at different stages of development. It would be great to push these forward and:

o Agree Terms of Reference
o Appoint a Network Clinical Lead
o Start Network Board Meetings
o Use the CQUIN money for a Network Director/Manager




UKSSB Working Groups

Training and Education

Niall Eames
Education report – June 2017

SSTIG – the spinal interface training group application has been submitted to Health Education England. The feedback from Prof Reid is extremely encouraging and an official response is awaited, which will be after the election.

SSTIG highlights, potentially, how the sum of our parts is far greater than working in isolation. Education is key to this and If we are not using leading edge thinking and disseminating this widely, to all interested parties, initiatives will fail.

A particularly vulnerable group are “new consultants”. We return from fellowships full of knowledge, but often the reality doesn’t match up with expectations. Demands are put on us that we are not trained to deal with which may be very stressful. This was highlighted when I had the privilege of hosting the BASS/BSS travelling fellows this year. Aprajay Golash is leading an exciting new initiative for this group with the first BASS boot-camp this month. Details are on the BASS website.

Another group needing our support are the AHPs we work alongside day to day. Whilst there is extensive “debate” regarding NG59, most patients with simple mechanical back pain do not require surgery or to see surgeons. The NBRPP provides a treatment pathway for these patients, and also includes other relevant clinicians (and surgeons when indicated). The development of specialist triage practitioners provides the opportunity for surgeons to focus on surgery, whilst patients continue to receive appropriate advice and management. Working together alongside AHPs (co-location) offers many advantages for all involved and the basis of the success or failure of these initiatives is education and working together.

Another educational opportunity, the BOA Congress, is in September. All the spinal societies will be involved in three sessions providing updates and revalidation talks on all aspects of spinal care to orthopaedic surgical colleagues. These sessions are based around the proposed STIG curriculum which is being dovetailed with the current upgrading of the orthopaedic curriculum lead by Matthew Newton Ede. Similarly, Europe is continuing to move forward with a spinal curriculum. The UK input on this initiative continues, with a further meeting at EuroSpine in Dublin in October.

Finally, our spinal representation on the Orthopaedic SAC is significantly enhanced by the appointment of my colleague from Dublin, Pat Kiely, with whose skills the travelling fellows are already familiar. I myself have been appointed to the Education Committee of the BOA and I look forward to working with Hiro Tanaka and his committee.

Society / Registry Reports


British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS)

The BASS meeting in Manchester was a great success with excellent international keynote lectures from Rajiv Sethi & Jean- Charles Le Huec. There were many interesting and stimulating debates, with a special focus on health care economics. The meeting had its’ highest delegate attendance with a record number of abstracts submitted.

BASS will be launching their new website in shortly. The website will be a major step forward with many updates and regular case based discussions.

BASS continues to develop guidance on consent and information leaflets for patients. These are all available on the BASS website and are free to download to all our members.

BASS will be announcing the successful applicant for the 2017 research grant shortly.
A new educational programme with regular courses for our members will be further developed over the next year.


British Scoliosis Society (BSS)

Registration for BSS 2017 is now open!

The 2017 meeting of the British Scoliosis Society in Birmingham promises to be an exciting, innovative and informative scoliosis meeting. The meeting will take place over three days 29th November - 1st December 2017. As previous meetings have proved very successfully, the first day on the Wednesday will be an instructional course, with the main scientific meeting taking place on the Thursday & Friday.

The target audience for the instruction day will be enthusiastic trainees, both orthopaedic and neurosurgical, interested in Spinal Surgery as well. It will be an all-day event comprising lectures, workshops and symposia from the National and International Faculty. We hope that the format and content of the instructional day will be of use both to enthusiastic trainees as well as established Spinal Consultants from both orthopaedic and neurosurgical backgrounds.
The topics to be included in the lectures, symposia and workshops include deformity correction techniques; an early onset scoliosis workshop and research methodology particularly slanted toward both those interested in multicentre research studies as well as basic science studies.

We are delighted to invite an International Faculty as well as guest speakers. This year the BSS and the local hosts have invited both Neuromonitoring UK as well as the National Paediatric Spinal Anaesthesia Network. Reflecting the coming together of the three societies we have invited speakers and planned sessions that will be of mutual interest and benefit to all three societies. There will be both specialist sessions for the individual society members together with plenary sessions with mutual interest.

This year we will host sessions and lectures covering neuromuscular scoliosis, Neuromonitoring challenges and neurosurgical conditions pertinent to spinal deformity.
We look forward to seeing you over the three days in Birmingham!

Abstract submission for BSS 2017 is now open!

This year abstracts are to be submitted via an online portal to make it easier for you as a delegate, and streamline the process. In order to submit your abstract/s please click here. All abstract submissions to be received no later than 31st August 2017.

Society for Back Pain Research (SBPR)

Annual general meeting and conference

The Society’s annual general meeting and conference will be taking place on the 2nd and 3rd of November at the Park Inn, Raddisson Hotel, Northampton, UK. The conference is themed “Back Pain – errors, innovation and implementation”.

We have an exciting programme of speakers:

•  2017 DISCS Henry V Crock lecture: “Errors in the surgical management of back pain in the past” Professor Bob Mulholland.
•  “Non surgical healthcare for low back pain: “errors” in practice and limitations of the evidence base” Professor Bart Koes.
•  “Implementation of spinal pathways: The improving spinal care project” Mr Ashley Cole
•  “Promising new directions in low back pain and call for change” NIHR Professor Nadine Foster.

In addition to research presentations (call for abstracts ends 09/06/17 2017 Advert_0.pdf) we have an exciting debate on Friday afternoon “This house believes we should target the system not the person with back pain” Speakers include Professor Tamar Pincus, Professor Kim Burton and Professor Bart Koes.

Update on Travel Fellowships
UKSSB have funded Travel fellowships for SBPR to the sum of £30,000 to date. The first call 2014-15 led to 6 completed Fellowships to the sum of £10,000. These were presented at SBPR and BritSpine. The second call has been in two parts totalling £20,000. The first part call led to awards to the sum of £11,318 leaving £8682 unallocated. At the November 2016 SBPR Executive meeting it was agreed to top this allocation up to £10,000 from SBPR funds and call for another round. This second call is now complete and has led to the award of 3 further fellowships (from 6 applicants) to the sum of £9694.

Awards to date
Anastasia Pavlova: Explore whether movement at the spine, hips and legs are associated with a person’s spine shape and how this relates to their experience of low back pain. Award: £1,000
Serena McCluskey: Assisting ‘Significant Others’ in Collaborative Self-management of Pain. Award: £1,000
Liba Sheeran: Personalised movement and posture feedback to people with back pain. Award: £1,000
Majid Artus: Delivering trials of antibiotics for patients with LBP. Award: £1,500
Alister Du Rose: Sagittal plane inter-vertebral motion and motor control patterns using quantitative fluoroscopy and surface electromyography. Award: £2,000
Valerie Sparkes: Factors contributing to the destabilisation of the motion segment. Award: £2,000
Catherine Kelsall: The role of Extended Scope Physiotherapists and Specialist Nurses within Spinal Services. Award: £1,500

2016 (1)
Janet Deane - Lumbar disc disease, symptomatic non symptomatic, shape modelling. Award: £3975
Sarah Harrison - The epidemiology of neuropathic pain. Award: £879
Kevin Brownhill - Video fluoroscopy, kinematic chains. Award: £2034
Alex Breen - Low back and lower limb prosthesis mechanics. Award: £4430

2016 (2)
Fay Manning - Investigation into the intervertebral endplate bone structure, mechanics, and their relation to function. Award £3840
Joseph Snuggs - Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Aquaporin Expression and Activity in the Intervertebral Disc. Award £4,414
Jerry Draper Rodi - Developing behavioural measures to evaluate the effect of biopsychosocial training for practitioners treating low back pain. Award £1,440

British Association of Spinal Cord Injury Specialists (BASCIS)

Ali Jamous - President
Nigel Henderson –UKSSB BASCIS representative

  1. The new Spinal Services CRG formed from the merged CRGs for spinal cord injury and for complex spinal surgery is now meeting regularly. A spinal Cord Injury Working Group of the CRG has been established and held its second phone conference on 08.05.17. The membership includes a representative of each SCI Centre and the workstream leads of the SCI Service Review.
  2. The NHS England Specialised Commissioning Review of SCI Services in England is complete. This has been presented to the Trauma Programme of Care Board and approved to progress to the Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group. Progress is being made through the stages of the process towards open consultation.
  3. The Peer Review of spinal cord injury centres (NHS England Quality Surveillance Team) has now been published to individual Centres for them to make progress with recommendations. The national report is awaited but a meeting is planned with them in July.
  4. The spinal cord injury referral portal, which includes a useful and informative document resource, is available on

Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS)

Report from SBNS (May 2017)

Since the last meeting there have been successful and well attended meetings of the SBNS in Oxford, with two half day sessions on Spine, and BASS in Manchester. The feedback from neurosurgeons on both meetings has been very positive. In particular the discussion and debates at the BASS meeting were felt to be particularly open and challenging.

The next meeting of the SBNS will be in Liverpool in September and will be a joint meeting with Confederation of African Neurosurgical societies.

Progress is being made with the Spinal TIG and there is a reasonable level of expectation that it will be successful.

All neurosurgical GIRFT visits have now been completed and the majority of spinal GIRFT visits to neurosurgical units. The national report on the neurosurgical GIRFT visits is being compiled currently by Nick Phillips.

Nominations for the President Elect of the SBNS are being requested later this month with a view to them commencing their role this September.

British Orthopaedic Association (BOA)

BOA image

BOA Annual Congress 2017: 19th-22nd September – ACC Liverpool

Registration is NOW OPEN to both BOA members and non-members!
You can register online at

The theme for the 2017 Congress is ‘Quality and Innovation’, which will permeate throughout all sessions. Our intention is to stimulate lively and constructive debate, insight and reflection.

The Presidential Lecture will be delivered by Jan Louwerens, who founded and chaired the Dutch Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Association. The Robert Jones Lecture will be delivered by Professor Chris Moran, Professor in Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery at Nottingham University Hospital and is National Clinical Director for Trauma for NHS England. Additionally Phil Hammond, an NHS Doctor, campaigner, health writer, investigative journalist, broadcaster, speaker and comedian, will deliver the Howard Steel Lecture.

There will be a range of revalidation sessions throughout the Congress programme including trauma, hip, spine and knee sessions. The aim of these revalidation sessions is to highlight current issues and provide key updates on specific topics. In addition to the revalidation opportunities, the programme offers a limited number of broader professional sessions from medico-legal, which will discuss themes that may affect clinical practice in the future, to a session on quality outcomes looking at the interactivities between GIRFT implementation and registries.

To view the registration rates, provisional programme and travel to Liverpool, please visit the Congress website at




British Spine Registry (BSR)




National Back Pain Care Pathway Clinical Network (NBP-CN)

Elaine Buchanan

Specialist Spinal Triage practitioners are at the core of the National Low back and Radicular Pain Pathway

It is to these clinicians that the patient with, severe spinal symptoms or those who have insufficient improvement with early management, return to as they progress through the pathway. With the aim of progressing the NBRPP, one output of the NBRPP update, was the formation of a clinical network for Specialist Spinal Triage Practitioners (NBP-CN). There has been significant progress over recent months and we are grateful for all the support given by the UKSSB as we take our first steps.

122 Specialist Spinal Triage Practitioners are now on the NBP-CN database.
Send email contact details to

The ESP breakout session at BASS was well attended, standing room only and has had very favourable feedback. Amongst other great sessions, there were presentations focusing on the NBRPP update, implementation of the NBRPP across England and a lively debate “Is a universal Treat & Triage Low Back Pain Pathway Possible”. The answer was yes by the way. The proposed evolution of a NBP-CN was endorsed by the participants both in a pre-meeting questionnaire and following the presentation.

A Date for your diary: Wednesday 6th September 2017, Birmingham.

The inaugural meeting of the NBP-CN in combination with the leads of the Regional Spinal Networks and commissioners of spinal services has now been confirmed. The programme is in the final stages of development and will be available on the UKSSB website in the near future. Please ensure that all Specialist Spinal Triage Practitioners in your area are aware of this key meeting. We would love to meet them and it would be very sad if they missed out.

(Note: this meeting is primarily organisational rather than educational and intended to bring together established or intending Specialist Spinal Triage practitioners and AHPs working in a spinal capacity to optimise their function, education, future qualifications, organisation and representation. Also their professional interaction with Regional Spinal networks through dialogues with the RSN leads and Commissioners)


Events and Meetings

International Phillip Zorab Symposium 2017 (BSRF)

Thurs 15-Fri 16th June 2017
British Scoliosis Research Foundation

Early Onset Scoliosis Meeting

Wed 13-Thurs 24th September 2017
Details and registration: 

BOA Annual Congress 2017, Liverpool

Tue 19-Fri 22nd September 2017
BOA Annual Congress
ACC Liverpool

Eurospine 2017

Registration for Eurospine 2017 in Dublin on 11-13 October 2017 is open here.
Abstracts invited until 2nd March 2017 here.

SBPR Annual Meeting 2017, Northampton

Thurs 2-Fri 3rd November 2017
Society for Back Pain Research Annual Meeting

BSS Annual Meeting 2017, ICC Birmingham

Wed 29th Nov-Fri 1 Dec 2017
British Scoliosis Society Annual Meeting

BritSpine 2018, University of Leeds

Wed 21-Fri 23rd Mar 2018
BritSpine 2018




BASS Residential Boot Camp
23rd -24th June 2017

BASS is holding its first residential Boot Camp aimed to provide a platform for senior trainees and fellows from both orthopaedic and neurosurgical background to network and prepare for life as a spinal surgeon. Please pass this information to your suitable trainees and encourage them to attend. I am sure they will find this a very useful experience.

For more information, please see the Programme and Leaflet.




Newsletters and Articles



Honest opinions from surgeons operating at the coalface of our health service.

Read more here: RCS “The Bulletin” - Volume 99, Issue 4




NASS image

NASS 2017 - Registration Opens May 9

Join your colleagues at NASS 2017 in Orlando, Florida. The premier meeting in spine features an extensive and challenging multidisciplinary educational program that includes symposia, specialty section sessions, abstract presentations, ePosters, innovative technology presentations, world-renowned guest speakers and a technical exhibition featuring the industry's largest display of spine care products and services. It is a meeting not to be missed.

View the Preliminary Program
Learn more about NASS 2017 at




Dear colleague,

I am pleased to tell you about the unique opportunity to join and tell your colleagues about the second EUROSPINE Advanced Course.

As an established spine surgeon with at least 2 years’ experience, would you like to level up in your competence? Then joining the advanced course is the right move. Completing the 2 modules is a step towards the European Advanced Spine Diploma, which is certified by EUROSPINE upon completion of the 2 advanced course modules and a validated fellowship.

Meet with your peers and interact with the faculty who are renowned surgeons from all over Europe. They will be bringing surgical pearls, notions, up and coming innovations and future trends in state of the art spine surgery throughout this 2 and a half day course.

Take part in interactive sessions with concrete and challenging case discussions. Get hands-on skills training with the latest technologies in the cadaver lab workshop, simulator lab and bone models lab.

Take either one of the modules:

• Extended indications and advanced operative techniques
• Revisions and complications management

Registration fees:

• EUROSPINE member: € 800
• Non-member: € 1000

I look forward to welcome you to the IRCAD in Strasbourg, France on 16-18 October 2017.
More information can be found at:
Register directly via this link: Register Now
Please do not hesitate to contact for assistance or to facilitate your registration. We will be happy to help you.

Best regards,
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Meyer
EUROSPINE Education Committee Chair




OOT image

New OOT Video Upload feature

Open Operating Theatre encourages Spinal Surgeons and Experts to share their surgery videos, or lectures, with the spinal community. If you have an interesting video, take advantage of the new upload feature on the OOT Video Platform.

We proudly announce the launch of our new Video Upload Feature. This will provide users with the opportunity of contributing their own videos to the spinal community, and sharing valuable experience and knowledge, which may be extremely beneficial to our viewers.

In order to contribute your video to Open Operating Theatre, you don’t have to be a video professional. If your video has educational value, go to our upload section, enter the required information and start the upload. Before being released for online viewing on the OOT platform, our board will check the content to ensure all conditions are met.

We look forward to receiving your videos and publishing them on the OOT Website. Once released, user videos will be viewable under menu item Submitted Videos. Sharing your video with the entire spinal community is just a few mouse-clicks away!




Born 21 September 1942. Died 20 April 2017

Gordon Waddell

Gordon Waddell, the pioneering orthopaedic surgeon who played a seminal role in the biopsychosocial approach to understanding and managing back pain has died aged 74. Gordon was an extraordinary scientist and communicator, with an uncanny ability to synthesise complex information and present it in a way that changed how people did things. His impact has been worldwide.

Gordon’s keen clinical observation and tremendous capacity for careful data collection and analysis served as the foundation for a novel approach to clinical assessment to disentangle physical, psychological and behavioural aspects. This evolved into the biopsychosocial model of low back disability that underpins current clinical practice. Indeed, Gordon was instrumental around the world in setting out the evidence debunking the use of bed rest as a treatment. This included a major contribution to the occupational health guidelines for managing back pain at work, published in 2000 by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, from whom he later received an Honorary Fellowship.

Next, Gordon deliberately escaped his primary discipline and redirected his energy into tackling the social and occupational aspects of disability. There followed a series of major policy reviews commissioned primarily by the UK Government. Predominant among these was the 2006 report presenting the evidence that ‘good’ work is beneficial for health and wellbeing. In 2009 Gordon chose to retire from academic life to spend more time with his family. In typical style, he quietly waved goodbye as he left a conference podium to catch his plane back to Glasgow.

Gordon wrote a seminal book on back pain - The Back Pain Revolution. It is a sublime example of how to communicate complex and sometimes contentious ideas. Perhaps more than any other single publication this book has changed the way back pain is treated and managed.

The influence that Gordon had on the worlds of pain, work, rehabilitation, and policy was recognised with a raft of honours in numerous countries. He was regularly consulted for advice on disability management by government departments and clinical organisations across the globe.

Gordon was a tenacious researcher and visionary, who thoroughly enjoyed the altercations that come from pushing the boundaries of science and understanding. Despite all his professional achievements, Gordon also restored a 17th Century cottage in the Scottish Highlands and wrote a 500-year history of the glen (Highland Roots, 2013). He loved hill walking, and did much thinking out on the mountains; in typical style he asked for his climbing boots to adorn his coffin! Gordon was a family man, and it is fitting that in his later years he had the opportunity to enjoy precious time with his wife Sandra, their three daughters (Carol, Joyce and Hazel), and the grandchildren.

Chris Main; Kim Burton; Mansel Aylward





There are no current vacancies





For more information on many of the topics detailed in this eBulletin, please see more on our website, along with each of the constituent society websites:






UKSSB Website
BASS Website
BSS Website
SBPR Website
BASCIS Website
SBNS Website
BOA Website
SSE Website
NASS Website
SRS Website








UKSSB - Spine Matters – June 2017