I have witnessed the exponential acceleration of interest in endoscopic spine surgery in the past two years, from 2017-2018, especially in Asia. Tremendous interest and growth now comes from China, where Chinese President Xi’s directed economic reform has produced visible changes not only in reports on their military presence, but in Health Care Reform. I have also personally experienced and witnessed the changes and directives in spine care.
Chinese minimally invasive surgical organizations, Chinese medical associations and now even traditional medicine have embraced endoscopic surgery for their members. My concern is if the interest can be accompanied by appropriate training. I have been lecturing on endoscopic spine surgery along with emerging Chinese key opinion leaders of these organizations. Many have come to me for training since 2000. It is truly remarkable to see the progress in minimally invasive surgery in the past few years, and even North America is taking notice.
The University of New Mexico School of Medicine and the Anthony and Eileen Yeung Endoscopic Spine Center at UNM sponsored a multidisciplinary spinal health symposium on the role of endoscopic spine surgery for painful conditions of the lumbar and cervical spine June 1-2, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A full day of presentations by academic and experienced lifetime members of IITS with extensive experience in endoscopic surgery highlighted and presented their expertise in endoscopic spine surgery, illustrating and sharing their personal innovations and successes for the program.
New sub-societies are being established in China and Taiwan, as I step up training all over the world. One such society is the “Yeung Fellow’s Endoscopic Spine Society,” in China made up of my spine fellows and other physicians who are embracing the YESS endoscopic technique. A parallel “Academic Yeung” is also being formed for the Taiwanese Spine Surgeons currently being trained by me.
Spinal Therapies announced its dissolution after the company determined that it is unlikely to ever regain profitability since the early days when chymopapain was promoted by the likes of Eugene Nordby, who is still alive and thriving as the first Executive Director of IITS.
I took over IITS at the request of Dr. Nordby and maintained an emphasis on the Organization’s focus on Intradiscal therapy aided by the endoscope as the least invasive, visually-guided treatment for discogenic pain.
Intradiscal therapy is still the only Level I validated EBM. Unfortunately, events adversely affecting Pharma and Surgical company profitability have caused both entities to turn toward the more profitable implant and hardware devices to follow the money and the road to profits.
We have, however, a core of highly trained and dedicated surgeons who recognize the future of spine care who are are lifetime members of IITTS, and each proudly wears the wears the Gold IITS pin on their lapels at spine meetings, still promoting Intradiscal therapy through an endoscope.
On January 25th, 2015, Dr. Satish Gore was officially pinned as the president of IITTSS for the next two years. A workshop at the same time as their annual Indian Spine Society meeting drew 59 attendees who chose the workshop over attending the annual meeting.
This workshop was attended by a very enthusiastic group who believed in the direction of IITTSS in MIS Endoscopic Spine. We have concluded that such meetings and workshops will be the agenda in teaching and promoting the least invasive MIS spine treatment philosophy to a new generation of young spine practitioners and leaders.