IITS has recently changed its name to IITTSS (The International Intradiscal Therapy and Transforaminal Spine Society) partly because we lost our name to a speculator who bought the expired name and refused to sell it back for a sum we could afford. We then elected to add the year to IITS2009.org, IITS2010.org, IITS2011.org to keep the website listed. When IITTSS.org became available, I decided that we would be better off by renaming the society than to continue getting a new name each year than to pay a price we could not afford to get the domain name back. Our new website name is now permanently http://www.iittss.org.
To those members who have loyally followed us, we have continued to have yearly, but joint meetings since the 2009 meeting in Phoenix. Eric Gozlan was the 2009 president in Phoenix, Dan Gastambide, the 2010 president in Las Vegas, and Rudi Morganstern, the 2011 president. In Cancun, Ramiro Ramirez will be president this year representing IITS in 2010 at the WCMISST meeting in Bahia, Brazil.
Without a major corporate sponsor like Boots, and without Chymopapain, I have been the caretaker of the organization for Dr. Eugene Nordby, who has continued to contribute $1,000/year for the Eugene Nordby Award for the Best Overall Paper on Intradiscal Therapy consistent with the spirit of the Organization, which represents the only Level One EBM study that has validated MIS spine surgery. No other MIS procedure has even come close to this level of validation. Recent past winners have been Pil Sun Choi, Gun Choi, and Satish Gore, and Doug Wardlaw.
I have stopped collecting dues since 2009 because of our inactivity until the time comes when we become fully active and have Chymopapain again.
Spinal Therapies lost several million investment dollars from multiple investors, the largest from RS Medical and with some individuals, including myself, putting very large sums to support the comeback of Chymopapain. The return is still viable with Chart, a company formed by Mike Hurd before he succumbed to cancer. Chart is under new leadership with Nate Weaton at the helm as president and CEO. The board of directors consists of Hansen Yuan, Nate Weaton, Gunnar Anderson and Linda Hurd. I am on the medical advisory board along with Doug Wardlaw and Steve Hochschuler.
This year, IITTSS will have a breakout session at the WCMISSTIII meeting in Bahia, Brazil. We will again have a society meeting to select the next president and the site of the annual meeting. The next meeting, whether alone or in conjunction with a regional MIS meeting made up of MIS supporters around the globe.
This year, in addition to the annual meeting, due to increasing demand to learn transforaminal access surgery as the least invasive approach, there will be a mega workshop in lieu of my regular Richard Wolf YESS Technique SED Cadaver Workshop. I have decided to expand the workshop to include other technologies and procedures to include a wide spectrum of procedures that emphasize the transforaminal or least invasive approaches that will not alter normal anatomy.
Please take a look at the workshop agenda. It was inspired by a very successful workshop in Pune, India, put together by Satish Gore, that brought 90 spine surgeons from India and surrounding regions that brought intense interest from previously traditional surgeons and MIS surgeons together. The attendance will be limited by the space available at the DISC and Squaw Peak Surgical Facility Campus.
Hope to see you in Phoenix or Bahia.