2013 December Newsletter

SSA President’s eNewsletter


Dear SSA Members, 

Welcome to the Christmas edition of our eNewsletter.  2013 passed very quickly!  

As another year comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a peaceful festive season and much deserved holiday from work.

Forthcoming Scientific Meetings

We look forward to two important scientific meetings in 2014.

A Combined Scientific meeting with the Canadian and New Zealand Spine Societies will take place in Lake Louise from 25 February–1 March 2014. 

The conference brochure can be downloaded from Canadian Spine Society website – go to http://spinecanada.ca/ click on ‘events’.

The Spine Society of Australia’s 25th Annual Scientific Meeting – being held in conjunction with the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) Worldwide Course – will take place in Brisbane from 10–12 April 2014 at the Brisbane Convention Centre.  Visit the meeting website for further details: www.dcconferences.com.au/ssa2014.

Ask your colleagues to join us!

I’d like to remind all neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons that the Spine Society of Australia is an open and inclusive society. If you have a colleague with an interest in spinal surgery, ask them to consider joining our society or have them ‘try us out’ by attending one of our meetings as a visitor.  You don't have to be a super specialist spinal surgeon to benefit from attending. And particularly, if you're a skier, the Society’s 2014 combined meeting in Lake Louise is not to be missed!

John O'Brien Historical Book Collection 

Members will recall that  SSA member Mr John O'Brien kindly donated his historic book collection to our society some years ago.  This collection resides at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.  Unfortunately, with the rebuilding of the hospital there is no appropriate location for this collection.  SSA executive felt that the most appropriate location for his valuable collection of texts should be Royal Australian College of Surgeons at Spring Street Melbourne.  Valuable suggestions have been received by the  SSA Executive as to how we should honour this generous donation.  My current proposal is to include a "John O'Brien Historic Oration" (brief 15-20 minutes presentation) within the Society Section of our Annual Scientific Meeting perhaps every second year.

Nominations for SSA Committee Members

Nominations are now open for the  SSA executive office bearers of:

·    Vice President

·    Membership Committee


These nominations are due by 31 March 2014. Please let Robert Kuru (secretary) know if you wish to nominate or second a colleague for one of these positions.  In the absence of nominations, the current  SSA executive membership committee well put forward nominations.



Prof. Richard Williams continues to finalise the syllabus for a combined neurosurgery/orthopaedic spinal PFET program. 

The Spine Society of Australia strongly supports the formation of a combined PFET program. We feel that optimal post-fellowship spinal training should include exposure to spinal orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons working in a combined environment. SSA anticipates this task will be completed by June 2014.


Web page 


In response to the comments made during the Annual General Meeting, SSA has explored new webpage options.  To facilitate this process we have appointed Light Media in Melbourne to modernise the appearance of the webpage.  The current functionality will continue.  We hope to make our webpage more accessible to our members and the public.  


Spine Society of Australia Spine Registry


In response to the establishment of National Spine Registries in an increasing number of Western countries, SSA Executive is putting together a proposal for our own national registry.  Our intention is to provide this as a service to our members.  Participation in the registry will be voluntary.  Our intention is to provide SSA members with the ability to easily collect outcomes data for their patients.  Once collected, this data can be reviewed independently or pooled for a hospital or group practice.  In this way, we could establish working groups with particular diagnoses in mind.  Governance issues such as privacy and data ownership are complex and establishment and running costs need to be carefully considered.  We hope to present a preferred model for this registry to the AGM at our annual scientific meeting in April 2014.



Best wishes,

Kind regards,


Peter Wilde

President SSA

New Arrivals