The Spine Times Dublin Issue 3

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ISSUE 3 | Friday, 13 October 2017 | EUROSPINE2017.EU

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Medal lecture We need to put our egos aside so we also his identity. It took him a few can come together for the greater years, but eventually, he got back good. into rowing and went on to winning two Commonwealth medals and Mark Pollock, Explorer, Innovator & thereby gaining back his confidence. Collaboration Catalyst, Northern Ireland attended this year’s EUROSPINE At the 10th anniversary of his blindAnnual Meeting to hold a lecture on ness, after taking part in multiple his road to bring people together races and marathons, he became the from all over the world to find a cure first blind man to reach the South for paralysis. Pole. In the span of a few months, Pollock found two teammates willing Pollock was diagnosed with a detached to face the race with him and trained retina early in life, but yet he became up to 12 hours a day before maka competitive and talented rower in ing his way to the South Pole. After his teenage years. While studying weathering the freezing cold weather Business and Economics at Trinity and the tremendous physical stress, College, he became not only a he finished the trek in 43 days. champion schools rower but also the captain of the university’s rowing In 2010, just two weeks before his club. wedding day to Simone George, Pollock suffered a tragic fall from a It wasn’t until one day during rowing second-floor window which left him practice that he witnessed a blur with severe spinal injuries resulting on the edge of his vision. A mere in him being paralysed from the two weeks later, at the age of 22, he stomach down. He was told that othsuddenly found himself completely er patients with similar injuries only blind. “It wasn’t only a loss of vision, had 12 months to live, but still, he but also a loss of identity”, he says, pushed the boundaries of what’s not believing to be able to live the thought possible. life he had imagined for himself. “Sometimes we have the luxury of In the decade that followed, Pollock choosing challenges, but sometimes started to rebuild not only his life but the challenges choose us.”

Facing the challenges ahead, Pollock left the hospital 18 months later. Ever since he has been travelling the world talking to scientist, doctors, biologist and other patients and dedicated his life to finding a cure for paralysis. He’s been working with multiple specialists, and four years after his accident, Pollock moved his legs voluntarily after being aided by a noninvasive spinal stimulation technique. He was fitted with a robotic exoskeleton device and has

been taken thousands of steps with its help. “There is still no meaningful cure... yet! But history is filled with the mere impossible.” He stated that there’s a great need for fierce and brilliant competitors who can put their egos aside to come together and to collaboratively work on the greater good and to ultimately find a cure for paralysis.

The Presidential Address In her Presidential Address, Margareta Nordin reviewed her presidency and the past year of EUROSPINE. The organisation has grown to become the prime Spine Society in Europe and beyond. Currently, EUROSPINE has 1,242 mem-

bers and the annual meeting this year has a record number of participants. EUROSPINE’s EuSSAB has also been developing exceptionally well with 29 organisations from 26 countries.

To grow this quality research over one million Euros in grant money has been distributed to members since 2010. Three researchers who have changed clinicians way of practice by showing the importance of using the bio-physical model in daily clinical “EUROSPINE is growing well. We work, data collection in daily clinical have outstanding educational prowork and evidence were shown. The grams for spine surgeons which will advantage of big data for research soon be offered for non-surgeons. and evidence-based best practice We are also working for a recognised was also a point stressed. NeverEuropean Spine Specialty Diploma for theless, there are many issues as all clinicians, and we have high-qual- standardisation and regulation to be ity courses in research and promodiscussed. tion of the research community and much, much more.”

“What does EUROSPINE do for you?” she asked the members, institutional members and guests. “We listen, we change, we adapt, we want YOU to be the best.” The take-home message was summarised with quotes of Churchill: ”To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” and by Stephen Hawking: ”intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” Yesterday morning we broke the record for registered delegates to a EUROSPINE Annual Meeting with almost 2,300 registrations. Thank you for your continued interest!

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Run in the Dark to fast-track a cure for paralysis On his journey to find a cure for paralysis, Mark Pollock founded Run in the Dark, an annual event to raise awareness for paralysis which plays a vital role in funding The Mark Pollock’s Trust mission to connect people from all over the world. Mark Pollock explains that in the medical world, there’s always a lack of funding and a lot of bureaucracy that keeps things from moving as fast as needed. There’s a constant need for doctors, sponsors, governments, entrepreneurs as well as patients to collaborate.

every patient who is in need of it, especially those with lesser financial funds.” To raise awareness, the Mark Pollock’s Trust foundation started Run in the Dark, an annual running event to spread his message globally and attract more people to his cause. “Run in the Dark happens in 50 cities all around the world, the big ones are in Belfast, Dublin, London, Cork and Manchester but there are also popup events organised by volunteers in many other cities across the globe.”

“Our agenda is to not only find a cure for paralysis but to also get it to

We congratulate Tim Pigott on the Election as Vice-President What made you decide to apply for this position? I hope I can contribute and continue the work of my predecessors. Probably I’m standing on the shoulders of giants, but I hope to continue the excellent work they’ve done. This was my main motivation to run for the office of Vice-President.

Tim Pigott - EUROSPINE’s newly elected Vice-President - has been a member for 20 years and always played an active role in the society. He’s been both the Chairman of Education and Membership as well as part of the Spine Tango Committee and was the local host in Liverpool with Martin Wilby.

society, meetings, education, research, guidelines and certifications. And finally, we have to make sure we have a financial responsibility. We

have a responsibility to our members to manage the finances appropriately, and we’re not spending more than we should.

Have you got a particular idea and a mission for your mandate? I think, no one will be surprised that the outcome will be very important for me. We have a very big project ahead and I have always been a big supporter of Spine Tango, so that will certainly be one important part. But also, of course, I want to continue with the core philosophies of the

Voting Results Burning Questions Day 2

Eurospine App

Do you use osteoinductive biomaterials in spinal procedures?

We want to thank you for your participation through the app. The growth has been fantastic. During the first session 1,950 votes were cast, 950 unique ratings have been given for presentations, and over 1,450 devices received the pushnotifications with important highlights.

YES: 118



NO: 82

Would you attend a nonsurgical curriculum for spine specialists offered by EUROSPINE?

YES: 88



NO: 56

Today you will again have the opportunity to vote and to rate sessions via the EUROSPINE app. (download at • 10:30–12:00 | Plenary Hall The 2017 “Best Podium Award” will be evaluated through your votes out of the presentations of this session. • 12:00–14:00 | Wicklow Hall 1 | EUROSPINE LUNCH SYMPOSIUM In collaboration with Oxford Medical Training Management of Difficult Patients and Families (Live Voting and Session Rating)

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ISSUE 3 | Friday, 13 October 2017 | EUROSPINE2017.EU

EUROSPINE WAY FORWARD STRATEGY – ON TRACK FOR THE FUTURE EUROSPINE: A VIEW TO THE FUTURE As we head into EUROSPINE’s 20th Anniversary Year, I am delighted with the progress EUROSPINE has made with its Way Forward strategy. EUROSPINE’s membership has grown substantially, both regarding of individual members and institutional and associate members. We have reached agreements and formed partnerships with many national spine organisations through EuSSAB and have taken great strides towards standardising education throughout Europe. Moving into the role of President of EUROSPINE, it is essential to consider how EUROSPINE will continue to progress, establishing itself as the Europe’s leading spine organisation. I am both delighted and humbled to be able to continue the hard work of my esteemed predecessors, Margareta Nordin, Michael Ogon, Haluk Berk, Phil Sell, Ferran Pellisé….. and so many other distinguished colleagues. Updated 3-Year Strategy Together with my colleagues, we have updated EUROSPINE’s strategy for the next three years, remaining true to our Vision and Mission. Our core activities, Meetings, Education, Research and Guidelines and Certifications will continue to be our top priority.



Meetings It is our goal to ensure that the EUROSPINE Annual Meeting and Spring Speciality Meeting remain attractive to spine specialists from all over the world by maintaining high standards and a focus on cutting-edge science. The income derived from our meetings will continue to finance our other activities. We have therefore established a longer planning cycle to obtain the best venues and allow more leeway for organising the highest-quality presentations and events. Our Spring Speciality Meetings will be made a fixed event in our calendar and are open to co-partnerships with other societies. Education Our primary focus is to increase the harmonisation of spine education across Europe. We have already established equivalence programmes for our ‘EUROSPINE Diploma’ and ‘EUROSPINE Advanced Diploma’ with the majority of our institutional members, and it is our goal to continue forging partnerships to standardise curricula, leading to an accredited European Spine Certification. Furthermore, we plan to double the number of surgical diploma courses and develop both a non-surgeon diploma and web-based e-learning.

Research Research grants are currently funded by EUROSPINE; however, we are looking into ways of diversifying funding while remaining unbiased. Guidelines & Certifications A new project is in the works: ‘Spine Centre of Excellence’ – which will be launched in close cooperation with the EUROSPINE Foundation (ESF). ESF will begin to act in its new role as ‘Think Tank’ and work on creating new income sources. Strategic Priorities We will continue our strong focus on advancing our three strategic priorities, members, stakeholders and organisation. Beyond steady growth, we want to ensure that our membership is well balanced across cultures and disciplines by strengthening benefits for all members. Furthermore, it is our goal to attract and support younger members as future leaders. We are also planning to establish honorary memberships, with the first to be awarded at EUROSPINE 2018. We wish to continue strengthening relations with our eight stakeholder groups with the following priorities:

Be the driving force and the primary and preferred partner in Europe for all spinal care issues.

• Optimise patient care and prevention of spinal disorders • Provide and support “best practice” spine-related lifelong learning and research • Bring together all spine-related European stakeholders across disciplines, cultures and countries

• Ensuring patients receive the highest standard of care • Working with MedTechs and Sponsors to foster high-quality meetings and education • Partnering with additional (spine) societies to facilitate mutual goals • Leveraging our EuSSAB platform Furthermore, we will ensure that high efficiency remains a top priority for our organisation by continuing to adapt to the needs of our members and stakeholders, managing work volumes efficiently and adding new services as appropriate. I am looking forward to the coming year with all of its challenges and accomplishments, and especially to working closely with the EUROSPINE team. Frank Kandziora EUROSPINE President 2017-2018




Programme Highlights 13 October 2017 8:30–10:00 | Plenary Hall Trauma, Tumour, Infection and Degenerative Lumbar Spine 10:30–12:00 | Plenary Hall | The “Best of Show” and Award papers The highest scored abstract submissions of 2017 “Best Podium Award” will be evaluated out of the presentations 62-67 of this session. The audience is asked to vote via the EUROSPINE app. 12:00–14:00 | Liffey Hall 2 | EUROSPINE Lunch Symposia Live surgery session 12:00–14:00 | Wicklow Hall 1 | EUROSPINE Lunch Symposia In collaboration with Oxford Medical Training

Management of Difficult Patients and Families 14:00–15:20 | Plenary Hall New Techniques and Imaging 14:00–15:20 | Wicklow Hall 2B Trauma, Tumour 14:00–15:20 | Wicklow Hall 1 Cervical Spine 15:50–17:00 | Plenary Hall New Techniques, Medical Economics

ISSUE 3 | Friday, 13 October 2017 | EUROSPINE2017.EU

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Faces of Eurospine Raquel Gonçalves - a TFR Grantee 2017

Faces of Eurospine Moritz Goll, Germany – Young Member of Eurospine

Why do you think the research you have been funded for is important? I believe our project is very interesting since it aims to establish new models to better understand the crosstalk between disc degeneration, the immune response and innervation and how cell therapies using mesenchymal stem cells influence these key players which are so important in low back pain. I think this is a step forward since the research in the field usually focuses on the molecular mechanisms of the immune response or the outcome of cell based therapies in disc “regeneration”, but it is not usual to approach cell-based therapies for low back pain using a more “holistic” approach.

When did you join EUROSPINE and why? I decided to join the organisation in the lead up to the EUROSPINE 2017 conference here in Dublin to participate and be part of an international network of colleagues which provides continuing education and support for young surgeons with interest in prevention and treatment of spinal disease as well as related medical conditions.

What do you think the clinical outcome of the study will change for patients? For patients I think the outcome of this project is the better definition of the role of cell-based therapies using mesenchymal stem cells in low back pain. It is crucial to better stratify the patients in order to understand the real potential of these therapies in different types of patients: for example patients with back pain, but no evident signs of disc

degeneration; patients with inflammatory response in the disc but without evident signs of degeneration. Only with increased research in the field, patients could be better advised by their doctors if they are good candidates to these therapies, instead of only testing these. For your research group, does this mean that you will go further and will apply for further funding? Of course, personally I think it means a lot for a young researcher in the field to have the recognition of the EUROSPINE, an organisation truly at the European level. But I always continue to apply for funding to other sources as the national science foundation or European projects, since it is also necessary to have more funding to contract people, buy new equipment, etc. Do you think that the process of the application was smooth with EUROSPINE? Yes. Contrarily to other calls in which you have to fill a lot of paperwork, here I think this is more straightforward and a very easy process to apply. I totally encourage others to try it.

Burning Questions

What do you expect from the membership of a medical association like EUROSPINE? I hope to be able to benefit from the multidimensional approach of education offered through conferences, online material, courses and the exchange of information with other colleagues in Europe and abroad. What do you think about What do you think differentiates EUROSPINE’s young member EUROSPINE compared to other spine category? societies? It allows young medical professionals So far I have noticed that it provides with an interest in spinal care to get a a welcoming and friendly environment feel for an international organisation with a broad spectrum of education and participate in the full range of easily accessible to its members. its activities without making a large Also there are many events to choose commitment early on. I think this from during the year which makes is the right way in order to provoke furthering my education, networkmore interest in the subject and ing and meeting likeminded people provide education for those who are easily possible. looking to specialise.

Faces of Eurospine Fabio Zaina – NEW MEMBER from Italy

Today we have three new burning questions for you:

When did you join EUROSPINE and why? 1. Will we have the pleasure to see you again at next I joined EUROSPINE this year. I am year’s conference? interested in the treatment of spinal diseases, and research, EUROSPINE 2. Would you recommend the conference to a is a big society and growing fast, so I colleague? think it is great to meet people, discuss different viewpoints and 3. If you are not a member of EUROSPINE – has this learn from others. conference made you consider joining? To participate, please use the EUROSPINE smartphone app (available at You will find the results online. Thank you for your participation!

Thank you to the editors We want to thank our editors Thomas Blattert, Dominique Rothenfluh as well as Judith Reichert Schild, Conny Schmutzer for feedbacking and proofreading the Spine Times so that we can bring you this conference newspaper everyday with relevant, up-to-date content.

What do you expect from the membership of a medical association like EUROSPINE? To increase my knowledge in treating patients. It is a place to discuss research and to learn more about updated approaches for treatment and discuss on a scientific base. What do you think differentiates EUROSPINE compared to other spine societies? EUROSPINE is an impressively big society and it is expanding fast. It’s not limited to the borders of Europe and you can meet people from around the world. Personally, I think it still needs to get a bit more multidisciplinary. Even though new projects from other fields are funded, looking at the grants awarded this year, presentations are still mainly on surgical topics.

I would hope to see more variety in the programme in the future! What do you think about EUROSPINE’s young member category? I myself am not a young member, but I think it’s a great way to attract young doctors and it’s good to offer reduced fees to them. But anyways, compared to similar meetings, EUROSPINE is very affordable, which especially attracts young doctors to attend.

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ISSUE 3 | Friday, 13 October 2017 | EUROSPINE2017.EU

EUROSPINE’s EuSSAB: European Spine Societies unite, Additional Growth from Israel, Croatia and Denmark It´s been one of EUROSPINE´s long standing projects to unite and bring together the multiple spine societies from across Europe. This project has come to realisation with EUROSPINE’s EuSSAB, the ´European Spine Societies Advisory Board´. To this point, national spine societies from 26 countries have joined EuSSAB, who represent 7,000 multidisciplinary spine specialists from across Europe.

Johan van Lerbeirghe, who was elected as EuSSAB’s first representative to the board to the Executive Committee of EUROSPINE, presented his results of a SWOT analysis, which stands for an analysis of “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats”, of the united organisations in one platform. The data acquired within this analysis is the first of its kind and served to gain relevant knowledge on the situation of spine specialists from all over Europe.

Ioannis Magras from Greece (“Hellenic Spine Society”) on his election as the next EuSSAB vicerepresentative to the EUROSPINE Executive Committee. Christoph Siepe EUROSPINE Stakeholder Council

Johan van Lerbeirghe furthermore reIn the last meeting, which took ceived a EUROSPINE honorary medal place here at the EUROSPINE Annual during yesterday´s Award Session for Meeting in Dublin, EuSSAB has grown his outstanding contributions during by an additional two member his term as EuSSAB representative countries, namely Israel, represented and beyond. His successor, Christoph by the “Israeli Spine Society (ISS)”, Josten from Germany, will take on his and Denmark’s “Danish Society of responsibility as the board’s Spine Surgery” as well as a new representative from here on. organization from Croatia, the “Croatian Society for Vertebrology”. EUROSPINE would also like to take The combined membership numbers this opportunity to congratulate will increase the overall number of EuSSAB associate members by an additional 340 members, which turns EUROSPINE into one of the largest and most influential global spine societies. The participating societies reinforced their intentions to collaborate on topics such as achieving one uniformly recognised educational curriculum, establishing spine registries (Spine Tango), working together in the field of research and others.

Frank Kandziora – Eurospine president 2017-2018 Frank Kandziora, a consultant surgeon, has been an active member of Eurospine for many years, which makes him the perfect candidate for representing EUROSPINE as its new president for 2017-2018. After being a member of the EUROSPINE society for quite a long time, what are you looking forward the most to your upcoming presidency? The most interesting part of the presidency will be working together with all the different people who are a part of EUROSPINE. We have attracted a tremendous amount of key opinion leaders as well as younger people and young researchers – both male and female – over the past year. Being part of these collaborations will be the most exciting part of my upcoming presidency.

Speaking of our younger members, what are your visions for the future of EUROSPINE – both short and long-term? I want to continue the incredibly successful work of my predecessors. EUROSPINE is the number one international spine society. Our primary goals are not only to remain the leading spine society but to also stay the preferred partner and the primal point of contact for all spine issues in Europe. Furthermore, to move EUROSPINE forward, we will focus on all the incredible new projects we have planned, for example building a web and online learning platform and establish a centre of excellence throughout Europe.

What would you see as upcoming challenges for you and the society? One of the most significant challenges for all NPOs and NGOs is of course sponsorship. We want to remain in close contact with our current sponsors to assure we have enough financial support to fund our future activities.

Additionally, we would like to make web-based learning as attractive as our on-sight courses, like the EUROSPINE Diploma. These are a few of the challenges ahead, and I’m looking forward to conquering them.

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Future Events to Remember

Advanced Course 2017 16–18 October | Strasbourg, France Literature Review Course Critical Appraisal of the Spine Literature: The Fundamentals 11 January | Toulouse, France TFR Research Course 2018 12–16 March | Porto, Portugal Spring Speciality Meeting 2018 26–27 April | Vienna, Austria

EUROSPINE Education Week 2018 • Diploma Courses • Advanced Diploma Courses 18–22 June | Strasbourg, France EUROSPINE 2018 19–21 September | Barcelona, Spain

Spring Speciality Meeting 2019 2–3 May | Frankfurt, Germany EUROSPINE 2019 16–18 October | Helsinki, Finland

Our special thanks to this year‘s contributors:

The Global Spine Congress heads to Asia Pacific

REGISTER NOW! Early bird registration ends on December 20, 2017

Global Spine Congress Singapore | May 2–5, 2018

© 2017 AOSpine International. All rights reserved. E & OE. Image credits: Gardens by the Bay & Singapore Tourism Board

by spineart

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ISSUE 3 | Friday, 13 October 2017 | EUROSPINE2017.EU

ISSUE 3 | Friday, 13 October 2017 | EUROSPINE2017.EU

Welcome message of the local hosts Barcelona 2018 Bienvenidos – Benvinguts! The upcoming 2018 annual EUROSPINE meeting and congress in Barcelona will be the scientific highlight of the year for all spine professionals and experts in Europe and beyond. EUROSPINE 2018 will not only provide its visitors with an outstanding scientific programme and the latest in spine research, treatment methods, and healthcare; it will also allow for numerous opportunities to meet renowned specialists from all continents and mingle with your colleagues from around the globe. EUROSPINE 2018 will take place at the CCIB – the Barcelona International Convention Centre, which is conveniently located close to the heart of the city. The CCIB also stands out for its modern presentation amenities and offers excellent access to the city’s public transportation system and many hotels in walking distance.

Just the perfect place to focus on the spine! With 4.7 million people, Barcelona is the capital city of the community of Catalonia and the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. It has a lot to offer; we would like to encourage you to check out the numerous cultural and architectural prospects. EUROSPINE 2018 will provide a very attractive programme which will allow all meeting participants to enjoy striking presentations, excellent seminars and research panels, allowing you to take up the latest information and techniques and to bring them back home. See you in Barcelona!

Luis Alvarez Galovich Ferran Pellisé Juan Bago Local Hosts 2018

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Welcome message from the president Dear members, dear colleagues, guests and friends, It is my pleasure and a great honour to invite you to the EUROSPINE Annual Meeting 2018 in Barcelona, the beautiful and world-famous pearl at the Mediterranean Sea. This Annual Meeting marks twenty years of EUROSPINE, the Spine Society of Europe. EUROSPINE, as the largest spine society in Europe with its continually growing number of members, gives us the opportunity to continuously expand the horizon of knowledge and research with regards to excellent spine care. During our Annual Meeting several thousand participants from more than 80 countries gather with their colleagues to exchange knowledge, skills and the latest advances in research and clinical findings in order to improve our patients’ treatment and ensure the best spine care possible.

Among other amazing things, this meeting happens to take place in one of the most striking conference places. Our venue is the CCIB, Barcelona International Convention Center, a very modern location which offers all amenities one can expect. Our local hosts Luis Alvarez, Ferran Pellisé and Juan Bago keep a very diverse networking programme ready, which offers ample opportunity to establish new contacts and deepen existing ones. Enjoy the local attractions such as museums and ancient history of the lovely city. As I am really excited and looking forward to sharing these four days with you and hoping that you will enjoy networking and learning about the best in spine, all that is left for me is to once again welcome you all in Barcelona to our EUROSPINE Annual Meeting 2018 for our 20th anniversary. Frank Kandziora EUROSPINE President 2017-2018

Imprint The Spine Times® is a free congress newspaper published by EUROSPINE. Publishing House: EUROSPINE, The Spine Society of Europe Seefeldstrasse 16 8610 Uster-Zürich Switzerland Contact: E: T: +41 44 - 994 14 04 Feedback: E: W:

Publishers: Margareta Nordin (President of EUROSPINE) Frank Kandziora (EUROSPINE Vice President) Thomas R. Blattert (EUROSPINE Secretary) Editor in Chief: Thomas Blattert, Dominique Rothenfluh

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