The biggest event in the spinal calendar, this year’s North American Spine Society (NASS) Annual Meeting, is fast approaching. The meeting (25–28 October; Orlando, Florida) will offer delegates the opportunity to witness breakthrough research, get to grips with cutting-edge technology and network with the brightest in spine care.
An annual highlight, this year’s meeting has a comprehensive selection of symposia covering everything from cellular biologics to evolving methods of scientific communication. The 19 symposia will offer a holistic approach to spine care; exploring the latest research, keeping on top of complex healthcare legislation and developing important leadership skills. This year will also feature a symposium presented by NASS past presidents William C. Watters, III, MD; Ray M. Baker, MD; Gregory J. Przybylski, MD and David A. Wong, MD, MSc, FRCS.
From the 1,000 abstracts submitted to the Scientific Program Committee, the very best will be presented at this year’s three “Best Paper” sessions. Wednesday’s session will reveal long-term cervical arthroplasty results and assess the use of steroids in anterior cervical fusion and discectomy. Thursday will offer randomised, controlled data on nonsurgical approaches to lumbar spinal stenosis, analysis of the cost-effectiveness of conservative versus surgical approaches, and the impact of preoperative opioid use on hospital stay. Friday’s winning abstracts will include insights into the impact of both lumbar fusion and disc replacement on the adjacent segments, as well as a ten-year review of posterior C1-2 fusions rates in octogenerians.
To keep on top of the varied programme, NASS will be releasing an app for delegates. In addition to the scheduled talks, the technological exhibition will be open to delegates every day, providing a hands-on look at the latest innovative technology. For those who cannot attend in person, all of this year’s talks will be available on-demand at spine.org.
Between the carefully-selected research presentations, Presidential Guest Speaker Rebecca Costa will discuss the difficulties of keeping up with scientific data. As research is published at a rate impossible for individuals to digest, the sociobiologist and author of The Watchman’s Rattle will explore the impact this has on healthcare, and how we can develop strategies to stay ahead of the game.
This year’s second Guest Speaker is CNBC senior contributor Lawrence “Larry” Kudlow, an advocate of supply-side economics and a former advisor to US President Ronald Reagan. He will speak at the “Health Care Reform 2.0: Examining the Challenges and Opportunities for Spine Care Providers in a New Health Care System” symposium, offering a conservative political insider’s view on the state and future of the US healthcare system. The symposium will address the potential impact on spine care practitioners of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act during a time in an uncertain political climate.
Kudlow will be signing copies of his latest book, JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity at Wednesday’s private SpinePAC Luncheon, one of the many networking opportunities slated for the meeting. Tuesday will feature a relaxed Welcome Reception with food and drink at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Thursday’s Resident, Fellow and Program Directors Reception will offer an excellent opportunity to meet spine care specialists from across the country, while the Joint Section of NASS Reception will bring together attendees of all sections of membership from biologics and basic research to robotics and navigation. Friday’s International Reception is open to both delegates and exhibitors, and offers the chance to network with Global Spine Forum speakers from across the globe.
Physicians can earn up to 23.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CME CreditsTM for their participation at this year’s meeting, whether licensed in the USA or abroad. These are also accepted by the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Approval is pending from the Florida Physical Therapy Association and AXIS Medical Education for nurses.
Besides the brimming programme of research, debate and networking, delegates and their families can enjoy the delights of Orlando. A city famous for its world-leading theme parks, Orlando also offers a host of first-class restaurants, bars and clubs. Acts such as Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group perform nightly, while the Kennedy Space Center and Gatorland offer education for young and old.