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The Spine Movement
Newsletter of The SAS Winter 2009
In This Issue
A Message from the President
SAS9: Invitations Have Been Sent Out!
SAS Journal
Magnifi Group
SAS Continues Pursuit of Voting Representation in AMA

All About London
London, the capital of England and the UK, is the world's ninth-largest city. Just about every London travel guide will tell you that there is nowhere else on earth quite like it.  With so many activities and incredible sights it is the quintessential international metropolis--a world city by all accounts. London is also one of the world's most identifiable and emblematic cities--the city of Big Ben, double-decker buses, the Queen and the Tube, it quite rightly asserts itself in global consciousness as one of the greatest cities on earth.  Click here for more information.

SAS Newsroom
The SAS has added a new feature to the website-the SAS Newsroom. Stay on top of the latest spine news around the globe. Do you know the latest on Medtronic, Alphatec or Axial Biotech? Did you read about Ellis Hospital's latest robotic device for spinal surgery? Or, Singapore Medicine 's store on how Singapore Doctors use hi-tech implant to add space to narrowed spinal canals? Just go to the SAS website and click on the Newsroom tab-articles from around the world are updated daily.

Quick Links
A Message from the President

January 2009

Welcome to the 9th year of SAS!
I trust each of you has had a successful and healthy start to the New Year and a good first month in 2009. It is a busy time for all of us. I wanted to take a few moments to share with you the developments within the SAS - our International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery as well as introduce the latest edition of the Spine Movement- the SAS newsletter.

The SAS9 Program Planning Committee met January 2-3 to select invited speakers and determine the details of the program that will be offered in London in April. Podium presentation invitation notifications were emailed out on January 15th, followed by oral poster and poster invitations. If you have not heard from us and have a question, please email The committee increased the number of oral papers. There will be symposia each day from Tuesday till Friday, oral poster sessions and a World Café – round table outcome discussion. The Committee incorporated many new and exciting features based on your responses to the survey sent out last summer. We heard your comments and responded.

A more in-depth review of the highlights of the SAS9 can be found following this message in the Spine Movement - the SAS newsletter. A full outline of the program can be found on our website, click on the London logo to go to the SAS9 website for program details and registration links ( Please reserve your hotel room soon as rooms are going quickly and we don’t want you to miss out.

The SAS Membership meeting will be held Tuesday, April 28th starting at 11:30 a.m. Please forward any items you feel are important items to bring up for discussion to

APSAS 2010
The APSAS 2008 Conference was such a success it will be repeated, this time in China. SAS representatives met recently with the Chinese SAS chapter to begin work on the 2nd APSAS scheduled for January 2010. We will share additional information when it becomes available.

SAS Chapters/SAS Membership


The SAS now has 4 Chapters—Korea, China, the Middle East and India, and our membership has reached 1149 up from 329 three years ago. That is an amazing growth. We look to continue to grow our chapters. Membership in the SAS offers the following benefits:

  • Association with a global organization that will promote the free exchange of information on the science of spine arthroplasty;
  • Special discounted registration fees for all SAS sponsored programs including the annual global congress scheduled for an internationally renowned venue;
  • On-Line access to up-to-the-minute news on spine arthroplasty and related products;
  • Members-only participation and access to on-line presentations and discussion groups;
  • Access to SAS papers, presentations, research and membership directory;
  • E-mail subscription to the SAS Newsletter and ‘breaking news’ issued by the society;
  • Complimentary subscription to the SASJournal
  • Access to Orthopedics This Week, PearlDiver and The Magnifi Group- online educational product

As you know the SAS team has been working with PearlDiver Technologies, Inc. to provide our members with access to the largest patient record database—135 million records.
PearlDiver’s database of HIPPA compliant patient records is the largest searchable database of such records in the United States and, potentially, the world. The PearlDiver surgeon interface and dashboard will be made available to SAS’ membership base. PearlDiver is also developing a series of new tools for active researchers and spine surgeons which will be included in the SAS Membership package as they come on line. To read all PearlDiver has to offer SAS members, consult the article in the Spine Movement, found at the bottom of this email.

SAS has also partnered with the Magnifi Group to bring the Interactive Educational Program (IEP) to our members. SAS members can earn CME credits, read updates in that follow in this issue of Spine Movement.

The NewsRoom
Are you in the know? Are you up-to-date on the latest news in the spine industry? The team has added a Newsroom section to the SAS website. There you can access global news items on spine surgery, spine surgeons, industry updates—visit the site often as this area is constantly being updated.

Please take a few minutes to read the rest of thelatest edition of the Spine Movement — the official SAS newsletter — as you will find we have added pertinent information. Make sure your membership is up-to-date so you can take full advantage.

I am looking forward to see you in London!



Karin Büttner-Janz, MD, PhD; President SAS, 2008-2009

SAS9:  Invitations Have Been Sent Out!
SAS Logo
The SAS9 Program Committee consisting of Frank M. Phillips, MD, Overall Program Chair; Todd Albert, MD,  Clinical Science Chair;  Avinash Patwardhan, PhD, Basic Science Chair; Choll Kim, MD, PhD, MIS Chair; and, Chun-Kun Park, MD, PhD incoming president met January 2-3 to develop the final schedule and agenda for SAS9 Global Symposium on Motion Preservation Technology. With a 25% increase in papers submitted for review, those attending the SAS9 in London, April 28-May1, will have the opportunity of hearing 68% more papers than in previous years!

Other changes to the program will include eight symposia including: Annulus, Cervical TDR Indications and Techniques, Basic Science Methodology and an MIS Symposium which will all take place Tuesday, April 28th prior to the MIS Outcomes session. This year we will be highlighting top graded posters with two oral poster sessions-one will be held at 5 pm on Tuesday, April 28th prior to the opening reception and the second will be held at the end of the day on Wednesday, April 29th. 

We will continue with the tradition of holding Industry Workshops each day from noon - 2pm and on Thursday we will be hosting a World Café.  This new, innovative program will be based around 5 case studies developed by leaders in the spine industry.  The World Café is an intensive round table discussion program that reviews a series of challenging case studies that will allow participants to confer on treatment options and protocols.  After five mixed rounds of discussion, the whole group will gather to share and explore emerging outcomes, insights and learnings. 

Here is a snapshot of the symposia being offered in London:

  • Motion Preservation Review and The Annulus:  Damage and Repair
  • Case Debate:  Lumbar Degenerative Scoliosis
  • Study Design Methodologies & Techniques
  • Master Techniques in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Motion Preservation:  Current Clinical and Basic Science Challenges
  • Disc Biologics:  The Ultimate Motion Preservation
  • Cervical Disc Replacement Symposium
  • TDR Challenges and Complications

The Committee worked long and hard to add as many papers as possible, more posters than in the past, and the most informative sessions.  Once all invited speakers and presenters have accepted our invitation the full program will be posted on the SAS website.   Just click on the SAS9 London logo for the link to all the most up to date information. Book your flights and reserve your hotel room now as space is limited and this is a program not to be missed.
SAS Journal logo
SAS Journal
A crucial element in staying at the top of the spine field is continuing education--treating yourself to a constant flow of new ideas and information about the subject. To that end, the SAS Journal has created a new way to help yourself to the opinions, questions, and answers of your colleagues in the SAS, and to participate in a dialogue about their research. Starting with Volume 2, Issue 4 of the Journal, you can now add your own comments and questions to articles published on the Journal's website.

Often, education is considered a one-way flow of information, from teacher to student--but when you have so many experts in one forum, it becomes something more like an exchange of ideas. Education takes the form of a meaningful dialogue between colleagues. Comments have the advantage of being much less formal than the high-quality peer-reviewed research found in the Journal; feel free to express opinions or solicit the opinions of others when it comes to important issues in spine surgery.

To begin commenting on articles in the Journal, simply log in at with your email address and your password (if you don't know your password or would like to change it, use the 'Request new password' option after you have clicked on 'Login/Register').  From there, simply add your thoughts by clicking the 'Add Comment' button at the end of an article.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Our best thoughts come from others." Share yours with the world at the SAS Journal.

SAS Partners with Magnifi Group to Bring the Interactive Educational Program (IEP) for Spine to Your Home Screen!
CME Also Offered
The Interactive Educational Program (IEP) for Spine is an online learning platform designed specifically for Spine Surgeons. The IEP features over 1000 pages of surgeon-authored content. The conditions-based reference guide is edited by Drs. Steven Garfin, Harry Herkowitz, Frank Phillips, Scott Boden, James Kang, and Ken Yonemura. The IEP content is complemented with over 600 images and animations. The IEP is the first program of its kind to include specific industry techniques and product guides.

The IEP also offers an online Interactive Notebook for surgeon use as as an online organizer and storage tool. Additional tools include a spine-specific Forum, a spine-events calendar, a Job Board, and surgical videos.

In March, the IEP will be offered at no charge exclusively to SAS Members. Online CME courses for ACCME-accredited Category 1 credits will be available.   Watch your inbox for your unique login details!
Important Dates-
February, 2009 - International Members will receive their IEP Accounts.
March, 2009 - Online CME Courses available and Domestic Members will receive their account details.

For any questions, or to get a head start on the IEP, please email Christine Vuong directly at


SAS Continues Pursuit of Voting Representation in AMA House of Delegates
Please Respond to our Important Survey to Collect Member Information!

In Mid January, the SAS sent out a survey to all U.S. based SAS members, for the purpose of updating our membership database and to gather important demographic information that will aid our effort to gain a voting seat in the AMA House of Delegates.  Participation in the AMA House of Delegates will:
  • Increase our legitimacy and credibility within the orthopaedic community, throughout the wider medical society world and within the entire health care arena.
  • Provide our society with an official voice as an advisor to the CPT Editorial Panel, and as a representative to the CPT Relative Values Update Committee (RUC).  As new technologies and procedures emerge in spine arthroplasty, it is imperative that we have a seat at the table when CPT codes are created or modified, and when CPT codes are valued through the RUC process.
  • Give our society a seat within the AMA Physician's Consortium for Performance Improvement. The Consortium is one of the leading bodies driving the development of performance measures that are increasingly being used by Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health insurers to improve physician performance and to modify physician payment in accordance with adherence to recognized measures.

A complete and accurate SAS membership database is an important element to our AMA application, so we ask that, when you receive this important SAS survey, you take a moment to compete it and return it to the SAS.
PearDiver logo
PearlDiver Technologies Inc. Creates Opportunities for "Unfathomably Deep Data Retrieval"
In January of 2009, PearlDiver Technologies Inc. and SAS joined forces to grant proprietary access to PearlDiver's searchable database of over 136 million HIPPA-compliant records, with the addition of a unique comorbidity analysis exclusively to SAS members.

During her 2008 Presidential Speech, SAS President Karin B=FCttner-Janz, MD, PhD stated that we should learn from the past to improve upon the future of spine technology, and that "new implants, materials, technologies and procedures should increase ease and accuracy, should reduce the recovery time and improve the outcome, should exclude as much as possible long-term problems and revision surgeries."  PearlDiver's HIPPA-compliant database provides intuitive data retrieval for these very questions, including clinical trial information, which PearlDiver has made searchable via diagnostic or procedure code or keyword. SAS surgeons and researchers may go as deep as they please down the rabbit hole of spine diagnoses, procedures, and comorbidities, all broken down by patient demographics and billing codes.  A hallmark of the program is its unique ability to present average procedure costs broken down by region, as well as to track continuum of care costs for diagnoses.

To get a taste of PearlDiver's capabilities, a simple search within the surgeon desktop widget, (for instance, "I have a 56 year-old female patient who needs a posterior lumbar fusion"), will yield thousands of hits of patient records matching the criteria revealing surgery outcome, long-term problems, and revisions, along with a synopsis of top related clinical papers. SAS and PearlDiver are working together to bring the Spine Anthroplasty Society closer to President B=FCttner-Janz's goals, and learning from the past is certainly easier when one has click-of-a-mouse access to a chart-topping 136 million records and industry-best data retrieval technologies.

To access the exclusive SAS PearlDiver page go to:


Articles of Interest:  Cervical ADR
The Spine Movement is adding a new feature to our newsletter--Articles of Interest.  With each issue we will highlight a selected area of interest and give readers a comprehensive list of articles and features that have recently appeared in the SAS Journal as well as other professional journals and publications.  This issue's area of interest is Cervical ADR

Articles that have appeared in the SAS Journal regarding Cervical ADR:
Adjacent Segment Disease in a Patient With Klippel-Feil Syndrome and Radiculopathy: Surgical Treatment With Two-Level Disc Replacement  Alejandro Reyes-S=E1nchez, MD, Bar=F3n Z=E1rate-Kalf=F3pulos, MD, and Luis Miguel Rosales-Olivares, MD

Prognostic Factors Related to Motion Dynamics Following Cervical Arthroplasty With a Bryan Disc: Average 2-Year Follow-Up  Kyeong-Sik Ryu, MD, Han-Yong Heo, MD, Sung-Jae Lee, PhD, Kwon-Yong Lee, PhD, and Chun-Kun Park, MD

Two-Year Results of a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial Comparing ProDisc-C and Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Daniel B. Murrey, MD, Michael E. Janssen, MD, Susan M. Odum, MEd, CCRC, Jon R. Gottlieb, MD, Leo R. Spector, MD, and Bruce V. Darden, MD

Articles that have recently appeared in other professional journals and publications regarding Cervical ADR:

Anderson, P. A., R. C. Sasso, et al. (2008). "Comparison of adverse events between the Bryan artificial cervical disc and anterior cervical arthrodesis." Spine 33(12): 1305-12.

Auerbach, J. D., K. J. Jones, et al. (2008). "The prevalence of indications and contraindications to cervical total disc replacement." Spine J 8(5): 711-6.

Bartels, R. H., R. D. Donk, et al. (2008). "Comparison of biomechanical properties of cervical artificial disc prosthesis: a review." Clin Neurol Neurosurg 110(10): 963-7.

Botelho, R. V. (2008). "Re: Sasso R, Heller J, Hacker B, Smucker J. Artificial disc versus fusion. A prospective, randomized study with 2-years follow-up on 99 patients. Spine 2007;32:2933-40." Spine 33(10): 1156-7; author reply 1157.

Cheng, L., L. Nie, et al. (2008). "Fusion versus Bryan Cervical Disc in two-level cervical disc disease: a prospective, randomised study." Int Orthop.

Galbusera, F., C. M. Bellini, et al. (2008). "Biomechanical studies on cervical total disc arthroplasty: a literature review." Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 23(9): 1095-104.

Galbusera, F., C. M. Bellini, et al. (2008). "Cervical spine biomechanics following implantation of a disc prosthesis." Med Eng Phys 30(9): 1127-33.

Kim, S. W., J. H. Shin, et al. (2008). "Effects of a cervical disc prosthesis on maintaining sagittal alignment of the functional spinal unit and overall sagittal balance of the cervical spine." Eur Spine J 17(1): 20-9.

Murrey, D., M. Janssen, et al. (2008). "Results of the prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption study of the ProDisc-C total disc replacement versus anterior discectomy and fusion for the treatment of 1-level symptomatic cervical disc disease." Spine J.

Peng-Fei, S. and J. Yu-Hua (2008). "Cervical disc prosthesis replacement and interbody fusion: a comparative study." Int Orthop 32(1): 103-6.

Rabin, D., R. Bertagnoli, et al. (2008). "Sagittal balance influences range of motion: an in vivo study with the ProDisc-C." Spine J.

Riina, J., A. Patel, et al. (2008). "Comparison of single-level cervical fusion and a metal-on-metal cervical disc replacement device." Am J Orthop 37(4): E71-7.

Rousseau, M. A., X. Bonnet, et al. (2008). "Influence of the geometry of a ball-and-socket intervertebral prosthesis at the cervical spine: a finite element study." Spine 33(1): E10-4.

Rousseau, M. A., P. Cottin, et al. (2008). "In vivo kinematics of two types of ball-and-socket cervical disc replacements in the sagittal plane: cranial versus caudal geometric center." Spine 33(1): E6-9.

Sasso, R. C. and N. M. Best (2008). "Cervical kinematics after fusion and bryan disc arthroplasty." J Spinal Disord Tech 21(1): 19-22.

Sasso, R. C., N. M. Best, et al. (2008). "Motion analysis of bryan cervical disc arthroplasty versus anterior discectomy and fusion: results from a prospective, randomized, multicenter, clinical trial." J Spinal Disord Tech 21(6): 393-9.

Seo, M. and D. Choi (2008). "Adjacent segment disease after fusion for cervical spondylosis; myth or reality?" Br J Neurosurg 22(2): 195-9.

Stulik, J., J. Kryl, et al. (2008). "[ProDisc-C mobile replacement of an intervertebral disc. A prospective mono-centric two-year study]." Acta Chir Orthop Traumatol Cech 75(4): 253-61.

Sun, Y., Y. B. Zhao, et al. (2008). "[The application of cervical spine arthroplasty with Bryan disc and mid-term clinical and radiological follow-up results]." Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi 46(5): 333-7.

Tian, W., B. Liu, et al. (2008). "[Functional evaluation of the cervical spine after Bryan artificial disc replacement]." Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi 46(5): 338-41.

Wang, Y., B. Cai, et al. (2008). "[Clinical outcomes of single level Bryan cervical disc arthroplasty: a prospective controlled study]." Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi 46(5): 328-32.

Yang, S., X. Wu, et al. (2008). "Early and intermediate follow-up results after treatment of degenerative disc disease with the Bryan cervical disc prosthesis: single- and multiple-level." Spine 33(12): E371-7.

Yang, Y. C., L. Nie, et al. (2008). "Clinical and radiographic reports following cervical arthroplasty: a 24-month follow-up." Int Orthop.

Zhang, X., N. R. Ordway, et al. (2008). "Correlation of ProDisc-C failure strength with cervical bone mineral content and endplate strength." J Spinal Disord Tech 21(6): 400-5.