Spotlight title
A selection of current topics relevant to spine surgery  |  OCTOBER 2013
Selfconfidence at work


Self-confidence in the operating room

Successful surgeons have been described as ambitious, self-assured, and resilient, all qualities that cannot exist without self-confidence. This all-important trait helps shape everything from how your patients perceive you to the way you solve problems. Think you're lacking in self-confidence? There are ways to boost it and increase your professional standing at the same time. Read more...


Heart disease

Spinal cord injured more likely to have heart disease

Vancouver, Canada. When the responses of 60,959 individuals from a 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey were analyzed, 354 people reported having spinal cord injuries and heart disease, while 356 reported having a spinal cord injury and a stroke. More males than females reported spinal cord injuries, with the highest prevalence in the 50 to 54 age group. Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that patients with spinal cord injury were 2.72 times more likely to have heart disease. Authors of the study recommended that in light of the heightened odds, healthcare professionals should target interventions and manage risks for cardiovascular disease in patients with spinal cord injuries.


Disc herniation

Avulsion is common cause of lower back disc herniation

Tamil Nadu, India. Scientists at Hanga Hospital have found that herniated discs in the lumbar spine more often result from avulsion (separation) of tissue between the disc and spinal bone, not necessarily from the rupture of discs. “Our study shows that the incidence of end plate junction (EPJ) failure has been grossly underrated, probably because of the difficulty of documentation,” say Dr S. Rajasekaran (an AOSpine member) and his co-authors in their award winning paper, recipient of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) 2013 Prize for Best Clinical Paper. After looking at 181 herniated lumbar disc patient’s surgical observations, X-rays, CT and MRI scans, and microscopic studies, they found that in 65 percent of cases end plate herniation was the most common mechanism; true disc rupture, or annulus fibrosis, presented in only11 percent of the cases. The majority of EPJ avulsions were detectable on CT scans.

Spinal cord myelin

First measurement of spinal cord myelin in MS

Cleveland, US. Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have announced the use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to visualize the entire spinal cord myelin integrity. “It is particularly difficult to directly detect myelin damage in the spinal cord; this is the first time we have been able to image its function at the molecular level,” said Yanming Wang, PhD, senior author of the study and associate professor of radiology. Expected to be useful in diagnosing and monitoring central nervous system damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS), the new molecular probe “can also be used as a platform technology to unlock the mysteries of other myelin related diseases such as spinal cord injury,” commented Chunying Wu, first author of the study. And Robert Miller PhD, Professor of of Neurological Diseases at Case Western emphasizes . "A cure for MS requires both repairing myelin and a tool to measure the mechanism."

(Picture: PET image of rat spinal cord.
© Case Western Reserve University)

AOSpine events

Key regional events November 2013 – March 2014


AOSpine Advances Seminar in MISS Update & Controversial Cases Debate (COA Pre-Meeting)

registerBeijing, China   November 7, 2013


Complex Spine Surgery: Innovations in Practice (A Hands-on Bioskills Workshop)

registerTampa, Florida   November 8–9, 2013


Simposio Avanzado AOSpine: Complicaciones y controversias en deformidades

registerBogata, Colombia   November 29–30, 2013


AOSpine Masters Symposium—Degenerative Spine

register Dubai, United Arab Emirates   January 17–18, 2014


AOSpine Masters Symposium—Tumor and Infections

registerLisbon, Portugal   February 14–15, 2014


AOSpine Masters Live Tissue Training—Spine Approaches and Complications Management

registerCape Town, South Africa   March 11 2014



Click here for a listing of all events


If you're not an AOSpine member yet: we invite you to join our global community of spine surgeons.

To join AOSpine click here.

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