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.
The 4th International Intradiscal and Transforaminal (IIT) MIS Workshop was joined by the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS) for its most successful workshop ever. The cadaver workshop was oversubscribed three weeks before the workshop, and the attendees overwhelmingly gave the workshop its highest possible rating.
James Yue, M.D., Chief of Spine at Yale Medical School, co-chaired the workshop which featured international faculty, all rated as #1 in their respective countries in MIS spine surgery and were pioneers of currently practiced transforaminal and translaminar techniques.
The 26th Annual IITS meeting in Seoul was a resounding success thanks to President Gun Choi, the Program Committee, the invited speakers, and the hospitality and pre-and post meeting surgical observation program of Wooridul’s Gimpo Hospital. Over 200 attendees were present, and discussion was robust. It was apparent that MIS transforaminal and translaminar surgery has made great strides.
Each part of the meeting, the lectures, and the workshop, was impressive independently, but the ability to watch live surgery, illustrating the surgical indications and effectiveness of the MIS procedures performed by Wooridul, solidified how far we have gone in the past 10 years.
I just returned from a three week trip to China, Japan, Canada, and Turkey attending multiple local and regional spine meetings in China, the ACMISST Annual Meeting in Inuyama, Japan, the ISASS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, and then the 6th ISMISS and 5th TURKMISS meeting in Cesme, Turkey.
It has become clear that Asian interest in MIS is increasing at a faster pace than North America (at least for nonfusion MIS decompression). At ISASS, Chinese membership is almost as high as the US, where it is second to the US in membership. In Asia, and in the Middle East, there is much more focus on pain management, MIS decompression and non-fusion MIS techniques than in North America. The techniques that I have utilized and evolved is wholeheartedly accepted with enthusiasm in these areas as contrasted to North America, where surgeons seem to focused solely on fusion or dynamic stabilization utilizing implants of all types.