SIS 2020 European Congress - Dubrovnik, Croatia
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 Export to Your Calendar 5/23/2020 to 5/24/2020
Where: United States

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Please note that SIS is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please contact for registration questions. 

The SIS European Congress is a premier gathering for physicians interested in examining the evidence that underpins the latest trends in interventional pain medicine. Consisting of lectures, question and answer time, and networking events, the European Congress is a program every interventional physician will benefit from attending.


At this year's European Congress in Dubrovnik, you'll enjoy lectures, question and answer time, and networking events at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, a luxurious, recently redeveloped Renaissance palazzo, with Mediterranean gardens and a commanding view of the Adriatic’s turquoise waters. Click here for the special SIS room rates.


Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is a short distance from attractions of the UNESCO-protected walled Dubrovnik Old Town.

  • Experience the many actual medieval  locations used to depict the fantasy world of King's Landing in "Game of Thrones"
  • Take in the majestic view from the top of Srd Hill from the Dubrovnik Cable Car
  • Sail the clear sea and dive into an underwater world of sunken warships and undersea caves of the Adriatic



PRECOURSES (separate registration required))

On Friday, 22 May 2020 the following precourses will also be available before the Congress:

Spine Imaging and Anatomic Correlation
08:30-17:00 (Three 2-hour sessions)
Chair: Timothy Maus, MD 
Instructors:  John A. Carrino, MD, MPH; Frank H. Willard, PhD

See the structures we target and the vulnerable structures we must avoid on expertly dissected and sagittally-sectioned cadavers and develop a greater three-dimensional understanding of the keys to success and the potential pitfalls of lumbar and cervical procedures.

SIS thanks the University of New England and Frank H. Willard, PhD for providing the cadavers used in this course.

08:30-10:30 - Rotation 1
12:30-14:30 - Rotation 2
15:00-17:00 - Rotation 3

History and Physical Examination for the Interventional Pain Physician
Chair: Edvin Koshi, MD
Instructors: Fred DeFrancesch, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD; John Tanner, MB BS

Receive hands-on instruction in taking focused patient histories and conducting physical examinations that will guide you and your patient in the pursuit of optimal diagnostic strategies and treatments for their condition. 



Friday, 22 May

Registration Open

Welcome Reception


Saturday, 23 May

Morning Coffee

Registration Open

Welcome Remarks
2020 European Congress Program Committee Chair John Tanner, MB BS; Dražen Kvesić, MD; Nikša Kojić; Drako Perović, MD, PhD

Bridging the Gap Between Physical Therapy and Surgery
Dražen Kvesic, MD

Basic SIS Approach to Low Back Pain
John Tanner, MB BS

08:45-08:57 - Spine Diagnostic Algorithm
Christine El Yahchouchi, MD

08:57-09:09 - Lumbar Zygapophysial Joint Diagnosis
G. Michael Hess, MD

09:09-09:21 - Medial Branch Blocks vs. Joint Injections
John MacVicar, MB ChB

09:21-09:33 - Radiofrequency Neurotomy
Javier De Andrés Ares, MD

09:33-09:45 - Discussion

Cervical Zygapophysial Joint Pain Prevalence
Michiel Schepers, MD

09:45-10:05 - Diagnosis: Imaging and History
Edvin Koshi, MD

10:05-10:20 - Medial Branch Blocks vs. Intra-articular Injections
Namita Arora, MD

10:20-10:35 - Cervical Radiofrequency Neurotomy
Stephan Klessinger, MD

10:35-10:45 - Discussion

Networking Break

Lumbar Disc Disorders
Anthony Hammond, MD

11:15-11:45 - Disc Prolapse: Natural History
John Tanner, MB BS

11:45-12:10 - Interlaminar Epidural vs. Transforaminal Route for Injection of Steroids
John MacVicar, MB ChB

12:10-12:35 - Transforaminal Injection Complications: Particulate vs. Non-Particulate Steroids
Christine El Yahchouchi, MD

12:35-12:45 - Discussion


Lumbar and Cervical Imaging Pearls
Drako Perović, MD, PhD

13:45-14:15 - Lumbar Imaging
John A. Carrino, MD, MPH

14:15-14:35 - Cervical Imaging
Relinde Schepers-Bok, MD

14:35-14:45 - Discussion

The Value of SIS Membership
President of SIS Matthew Smuck, MD

Networking Break

Challenges of Discogenic Pain
Geoffrey Speldewinde, MB BS

15:10-15:30 - Discogenic Pain: Diagnosis and Imaging Clues
John A. Carrino, MD, MPH

15:30-15:45 - Provocation Controversy
Anthony Hammond, MD

15:45-15:55 - Discussion

Other Approaches to Chronic Low Back Pain
Relinde Schepers-Bok, MD

15:55-16:12 - Emerging Technologies
Fred DeFrancesch, MD

16:12-16:24 - Modic Changes
Michiel Schepers, MD

16:24-16:36 - Sacroiliac Joint: Diagnosis
John Tanner, MB BS

16:36-16:48 - Sacroiliac Joint: Treatment
Sanjeeva Gupta, MD

16:48-16:55 - Discussion

Adjourn for the Day

CME Poster Presentations With Authors

Networking Reception


Sunday, 24 May

Morning Coffee

Registration Open

Case Presentations
John MacVicar, MB ChB

09:00-09:10 - Case 1
Drako Pervoić, MD, PhD

09:10-09:20 - Discussion

09:20-09:30 - Case 2
Sanjeeva Gupta, MD

09:30-09:40 - Discussion

09:40-09:50 - Case 3
Dražen Kvesić, MD

09:50-10:00 - Discussion

FactFinders for Patient Safety: Anticoagulants and Spine Interventions
John Tanner, MB BS

Top Poster Podium Presentation
Moderator: Stephan Klessinger, MD

Networking Break

Innovations in Spine Interventions
Sanjeeva Gupta, MD

10:50-11:02 - Peripheral Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Knee
Edvin Koshi, MD

11:02-11:14 - Basivertebral Nerve Ablation
Matthew Smuck, MD

11:14-11:26 - Ganglion Molecular Treatment
Timothy Maus, MD

11:26-11:38 - Thoracic and Sacroiliac Joint Radiofrequency Neurotomy
Geoffrey Speldewinde, MB BS

11:38-11:50 - Discussion

Ask the Experts
John Tanner, MB BS
Panelists: Matthew Smuck, MD; John MacVicar, MD; Timothy Maus, MD; Edvin Koshi, MD

Pathways for Spine Pain Management: Spine Care in Croatia and the Surrounding Regions
Dražen Kvesić, MD; Nikša Kojić, MD; Drako Perović, MD, PhD

Congress Adjourns

Registration and Hotel Details

Registration Rates Before Saturday, 28 March 2020
Tier I International and North American Physician Members - $895
Tier II International Members - $595
Military Physicians, Fellows, Residents, and Medical Student Members - $345
Allied Health Professionals - $495
Non-member Physicians - $1,295

Register early and save. All Congress registration rates increase by $150 on 28 March 2020 and again on 25 April 2020.

Meeting and Hotel Accommodations
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik
Na Moru 1, 20234, Orašac, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Single Occupancy: €185
Double Occupancy: €195
Click here for online reservations

Dubrovnik International Airport (DBV) is located 35 kilometers from the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik hotel. Please arrange your own ground transportation to the hotel. The hotel can assist with ground transportation upon request.

Educational Objectives/CME Credits

Educational Objectives
Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to: 

  • Identify best practices to ensure patient safety during interventional spine procedures;
  • Apply new research findings to the practice of ethical, evidence-based interventional spine care;
  • Describe how strict diagnostic criteria and anatomically validated technique can improve outcomes;
  • Assess the limitations of spine interventions;
  • Discuss emerging interventional therapies and how they can be applied to patients;
  • Identify the utility and limitations of history, physical exam, and imaging in your diagnostic algorithm;
  • Cite the evidentiary basis for lumbar and cervical spine interventions.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)
The Spine Intervention Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Spine Intervention Society designates this live activity for a maximum of 10.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The American Medical Association has determined that physicians not licensed in the US to participate in this CME activity are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM

Target Audience
This live activity has been designed for individuals who are involved in the care of patients with spine pain.

Registration Open to All
The content of this course is geared towards physicians but registration is open to SIS members, non-member physicians, and mid-level staff.

Cancellation Policy
The Spine Intervention Society requires cancellation at least 21 days prior to the course to receive a refund less a $150 administrative fee. Cancellation less than 21 days prior will result in forfeiture of all fees. SIS reserves the right to cancel this event due to circumstances beyond its control. The Society assumes no financial obligation to registrants for possible costs incurred.


Disclosure Policy
SIS plans and implements educational activities in accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor. As an ACCME-accredited provider, the Society’s disclosure policy requires everyone who is in a position to control the content of an education activity has disclosed all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest to the provider. The ACCME defines “‘relevant’ financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

The European Congress Committee Chair reviews all disclosures prior to presentation and has a process of resolution that, if not satisfied, results in the removal of the speaker. The intent of this policy is not to prevent expert speakers with relevant relationship(s), with commercial interest(s), or other interests from involvement in CME but rather to ensure that the Society’s CME activities promote quality and safety, are effective in improving medical practice, are based on valid content, and are independent from commercial interests and free of commercial bias. Disclosure information will be made available to all participants at this meeting. Speakers are also required to disclose this information to the participants verbally and on the introductory slide at the beginning of each presentation.

To ensure the integrity of members, volunteers, and leaders, and to maintain public confidence, SIS has adopted a policy of uniform disclosure of financial relationships. Any individual participating in a sponsored activity must disclose to the audience any financial relationship in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g. stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities for which remuneration is received or expected.

Commercial Support Disclosure
The Society fully complies with all ACCME requirements for commercial support and maintains a separation of promotion from education. The content or format of SIS CME activities, or its related materials, promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest. The Spine Intervention Society is a non-profit medical society. Revenues from this and all courses are used for future research and educational endeavors.

Course Materials Copyright
Materials presented at this course have been made available by the Spine Intervention Society for educational purposes only. No distribution or reproductions of any kind, including audio and video recordings, may be made of the presentations. We reserve all rights to such material.

Code of Conduct

SIS does not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment including, but not limited to: inappropriate comments on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, gender identity, or gender expression; the display of inappropriate or sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following; harassing photography or recordings; sustained disruption of presentations or other events; inappropriate physical contact or unwelcome sexual attention. 

All attendees, speakers, sponsors, staff, and volunteers at Society activities are required to agree to uphold this code of conduct during the event, in activity-related social events at on-site or off-site locations, and in related online communities and social media. 

To report a violation of our Code of Conduct, please send an email to SIS senior staff at

Reports will be investigated, and appropriate action will be taken.

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