nnn NASS courses continue to attract those from far away...
It seems to be the norm rather than the exception that someone
at even a small course is an international attendee.
looking forward to the opportunity to
speak, and am excited to learn from
others who are coming from different
cultural and educational backgrounds,
but who are committed to multidisciplinary spine care.
These opportunities seem to be
ever increasing for NASS. The executive
leadership over the years (prior to my
involvement) did a great job building
bridges. The Education Council has
also worked with other organizations
over the years to build lasting relationships and develop excellent continuing
education courses (eg, Spine Across the
Sea). Overall, NASS has recently or is
currently working on educational activities and other outreach with spine care
groups in India, Sudan, Beirut, Thailand,
China, Japan, the UK, Paris, Italy, Korea,
Dubai, Brazil, Indonesia, Poland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Spain and
In this Issue
This edition of SpineLine includes many
great submissions. From the Desk of the
President is our first “official” submission from NASS President Daniel Resnick, MD. He wrote a thoughtful essay
on the importance of Being Specific.
His column discusses the importance
of understanding research issues of heterogeneity, and also echos Dr. Wetzel's
plea to remove “nonspecific back pain”
from the lexicon. I would add a plea for
the Radiology community to remove the
term “degenerative disc disease” when
remarking on age-related changes. This
makes me feel like I have degenerative
beard disease (increasingly white) or
degenerative face disease (wrinkles vs
In the Current Concepts section, we
have several articles, including a robust
recap of the NASS 2017 Annual Meeting. I do recommend using the link for
the full Presidential Address by F. Todd
Wetzel, MD, if you were not able to attend. Congratulations are also extended
to all of the winners of Best Papers, Value
Abstract Awards, Outstanding Papers,
Grant Awards, and Resident and Fellow
In a Section Feature on “Working
Toward New Quantitiative Metrics of
Injury Following Motor Vehicle Collision,” Drs. Hoggarth, Walton and Elliott
provide insight into a promising new
technique of cervical spine imaging.
Our Case Study and Review on Lumbo-sacral Transitional Anatomy, from Drs.
Anderson, Knight and Best, examines
a common occurrence of transitional
anatomy identified and “complicating”
performance of spine injection procedures.
The Socioeconomics & Politics
section inlcudes two articles from the
Health Policy Council. First is a Coding
column, “Updates Regarding Anthem
Coverage Policies and Coding” from
our long-time experts in Coding, Drs.
Kauffman, Reiter and Mitchell. These
volunteers have spent countless hours
working for NASS members to ensure
appropriate working relationships with
insurers and consistent policy coverage.
In the Regulatory Policy column, Alli-
son Waxler, MS, provides new informa-
tion on the “2018 Medicare Physician
I encourage you to read all that is
offered in the NASS News section, in-
cluding information on upcoming edu-
cational conferences like the Evidence &
Technology Spine Summit to be held at
the end of February in Park City, Utah.
This meeting is approaching its 15th
year, and is a great opportunity to learn
and network in a more intimate setting.
The News section also remembers,
in a 2017 In Memoriam, those NASS
members we lost in the past year. A
previous resident and close friend, Deno
Pappas, was among those we lost far too
early. He is missed, and my personal
condolences to friends, colleagues and
family members of the others on the list.
I will close with a special thank you
to all of the contributors, section editors, and especially NASS staff for their
dedication in providing another edition
of SpineLine. As always, we are receptive
to any comments or suggestions that
will help make a difference. Safe (and
enjoyable/educational) travels to all this
holiday season and in the coming year!