2018 European Congress - London, England
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Join your colleagues and international leaders in spine intervention at the 2018 European Congress.

3/23/2018 to 3/25/2018
When: 23-25 March 2018
Where: Hilton London Bankside
London, England 
United Kingdom

Online registration is closed.
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The SIS 2018 European Congress—Management of Spine Pain: Integrating the Evidence Base and Skills of Multiple Specialties lets you take your place in London among Europe and America’s premier interventional pain physicians as they share the specific techniques and efficacy data their specialties bring to bear in the management of spine pain.


Download the Mobile App

The Congress is a digital-only meeting; no printed program will be available. We urge you to download the SIS Events App before you arrive. Whether you use an Android or iOS device (or plan to access the app online through a browser on your laptop or tablet), the app is the way for you to view the agenda, build your personal schedule, locate session rooms, read speaker bios, learn about the poster presentations, review the attendee list, direct message your colleagues, and learn about the exhibitors.


Use of the app is limited to registered attendees. Please allow 24 hours after your registration for app access.


Connect With Your Fellow Delegates
With a networking reception on the first evening of the Congress, SIS provides you opportunities to connect with your colleagues. Start building those connections right now on the SIS 2018 European Congress Facebook event page or if you prefer, on Twitter or LinkedIn.





Friday 23 March


Precourses Additional Fee Required


Spine Imaging and Anatomic Correlation


With Dissected and Sagittally-Sectioned Cadavers - Select One of Three Two-Hour Sessions


9:00-11:00 Session One, 12:30-14:30 Session Two, or 15:00-17:00 Session Three - ALL SESSIONS SOLD OUT


Chair: Timothy Maus, MD
Instructors: F.H. Willard, PhD; Timothy Maus, MD; Sanjeeva Gupta, MD


This unique 2-hour, small-group course features an open dialogue between Dr. Timothy Maus and Prof. Frank Willard. This workshop offers a rare opportunity to see the structures that we target with interventional spine procedures and the vulnerable structures that we must avoid on expertly dissected cadavers. The anatomic reality will be correlated with the imaging representation. Dissected and sagittally-sectioned cadavers and multi-planar imaging datasets will allow the attendee to develop a greater three-dimensional understanding of the keys to success and the potential pitfalls of lumbar and cervical procedures.


Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Correlate imaging with the gross spinal anatomy relevant to interventional pain procedures;
  •  Identify on imaging and anatomic inspection the target tissues and vulnerable structures for interventional pain procedures;
  • Distinguish anatomic causes which are favorable to good outcomes or which may lead to technical failure or complications in lumbar and cervical procedures.


This Imaging course is offered throughout the day to 10 attendees at a time in two-hour increments.When you book the 9:00 session, you will also be able to take the History and Physical Exam course below in the afternoon.


SIS thanks the University of New England and Professor F. H. Willard for providing the prosected cadavers used in the Imaging course.




History and Physical Examination for the Interventional Pain Physician - SOLD OUT


Chair: Edvin Koshi, MD
Instructors: John Tanner, BSc, MB BS; Edvin Koshi, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD; David J. Kennedy, MD


This course features didactic and hands-on sessions covering cervical and lumbar physical exams for the interventionalist. We will discuss the utility of a physical exam, specific provocation tests, the neurological exam, and literature support. Additionally, there will be hands-on training with video vignettes to demonstrate and practice the exam tests covered in the didactic session in a systematic and efficient manner that can be easily incorporated into an interventionalist’s practice.


Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the shortcomings and strengths of the physical exam as a diagnostic screening tool;
  • Discuss the evidence-base behind physical examination for spine pathology;
  • Describe the sensitivity and specificity of provocation tests that are used to screen for pain generators in the cervical and lumbosacral spine;
  • Apply specific provocation tests to screen for lumbosacral and cervical procedures;
  • Employ technically correct performance of lumbosacral and cervical physical exam tests that are used to screen for interventional spine procedures.


General Assembly



Ask The Experts and Clinical Pearls Panel


Moderator: Chris Wells, MD
Panelists: Sanjeeva Gupta, MD; Arun Bhaskar, MB BS; Matthew Smuck, MD; David J. Kennedy, MD; Timothy Maus, MD


International experts in spine interventions will field questions from the floor and discuss their strategies in handling difficult interventional scenarios. This is a unique opportunity to benefit from the many years of experience of this distinguished panel.



Welcome Reception




Saturday 24 March


Morning Coffee with Exhibitors


Welcome Remarks


Arun Bhaskar, MB BS; Sanjeeva Gupta, MD



Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections


Moderator: Sanjeeva Gupta, MD
Speakers: Manohar Sharma, MD; Arun Bhaskar, MB BS; Timothy Maus, MD


TFESI is commonly performed on patients with lower limb radicular pain when conservative treatment including pharmacotherapy is not adequate. Performing TFESI at the correct level(s) is as important as the outcome of the procedure and, can determine future management including surgery.If correctly performed spine surgery can be avoided in some patients.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Assess when, and at what levels to perform TFESI based on the patient’s symptoms and MRI findings;
  • Explain the evidence base for TFESI;
  • Interpret the normal and abnormal flow patterns of radio-contrast dye when performing TFESI.


Efficacy Data - Manohar Sharma, MD


Abnormal Flow Patterns - Arun Bhaskar, MB BS


Planning Transforaminal Injections - Timothy Maus, MD






Coffee Break with Exhibitors




Orphan Procedures: Selective Nerve Root Blocks


Speaker: Timothy Maus, MD


Selective nerve blocks are an invaluable diagnostic tool in the radicular pain patient. Clinical pain patterns, advanced imaging, and electrophysiology are not segment specific. Controlled diagnostic blocks can more uniquely identify a radicular pain generator, but require careful attention to technique.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the technical characteristics that distinguish a diagnostic selective nerve block from a transforaminal therapeutic injection.




Radiofrequency Neurotomy


Moderator: Barry Miller, MB ChB
Speakers: Chris Wells, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD; Stephen Ward, MD


This session will concentrate on the appropriate diagnosis and management of low back pain originating from the lumbar facet joints. The optimal technique for performing a medial branch block and radiofrequency neurotomy to treat lumbar facet joint pain will be discussed. The published outcome studies of lumbar medial branch block and radiofrequency neurotomy will also be reviewed. There will be plenty of opportunity to clarify your doubts.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Cite the indications and techniques for lumbar medial branch blocks and radiofrequency neurotomy;
  • Discuss the evidence base of radiofrequency neurotomy for lumbar facet joint pain.


Diagnostics: Medial Branch Blocks- Chris Wells, MD


Technique -Matthew Smuck, MD


Efficacy Data -Stephen Ward, MD






COOLIEF® Cooled Radiofrequency: Evidence Based Treatment Modalities and New Indications presented by Halyard Health, lunch provided by SIS. No CME credit is offered for this session.




Orphan Procedures: Sympathetic Blocks


Speaker: Manohar Sharma, MD


The current understanding of the evidence base for sympathetic blocks and the rationale for their application in clinical practice will be discussed.




Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections


Moderators: David J. Kennedy, MD
Speakers: Neil Collighan, MB ChB; Anthony Hammond, MD; David J. Kennedy, MD; Timothy Maus, MD


This session will review cervical epidural steroid injections. Techniques, pitfalls, and efficacy data from both the interlaminar and transformational approaches will be reviewed in detail. Additionally, a discussion will be facilitated regarding the roles of CT guidance and fluoroscopy.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the anatomic considerations for the safe performance of a cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection;
  • State the anatomic considerations for the safe performance of a cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injection;
  • Cite the relative efficacy data for cervical epidural injections based on approach and diagnosis.


Interlaminar Technique -Neil Collighan, MB ChB


Transforaminal Technique -Anthony Hammond, MD


Efficacy Data: Interlaminar and Transforaminal -David J. Kennedy, MD


Does CT Have a Role in Cervical Procedures? -Timothy Maus, MD






Networking Break with Exhibitors




Orphan Procedures: Epidural Adhesiolysis


Speaker: Javier De Andres Ares, MD


Epidural Adhesiolysis, also known as, Epidurolysis, Epidural Neuroplasty, Lysis of Epidural Adhesions or the Racz Technique is an Interventional technique that “involves breaking down adhesions that are thought to contribute to pain, and prevent delivery of analgesics to target sites.” (Gabor Racz 2007). Although the technique as first described technique had many errors, it has evolved to become more accurate and effective. We will discuss the technique, the modifications of the technique, medication used, and the possible mechanisms of how it works in some patients. We will also analyse the recent literature for this procedure.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • State the modifications that have been introduced in the technique;
  • Describe the shortcomings of the technique (invalidated diagnostic epidurogram, etc.);
  • Know the drawbacks of the technique;
  • Present a rational analysis of the recent literature.




Cervical Radiofrequency Neurotomy


Moderator: Manohar Sharma, MB BS, MD
Speakers: Stephen Ward, MD; G. Michael Hess, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD


This session will enable attendees to describe patient selection, the techniques of cervical medial branch block (MBB), and, cervical medial branch radiofrequency (RF) neurotomy, including third occipital neurotomy for cervicogenic headache.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe technical aspects of patient positioning, fluoroscopic anatomy, and needle navigation for cervical medial branch block and radiofrequency neurotomy.
  • Improve outcomes for cervical RF and appraise the current level of evidence.


Cervical MBB: Technique and Summary of the Data -Stephen Ward, MD


RF Neurotomy Technique and Efficacy -G. Michael Hess, MD


Cervicogenic Headache, Third Occipital Nerve (TON) -Matthew Smuck, MD






Thoracic Procedures


Moderator: Arun Bhaskar, MB BS
Speakers: Armando Barbosa, MD; F.H. Willard, PhD; Stephan Klessinger, MD


Thoracic procedures are not as common as lumbar or cervical procedures and could pose a challenge to the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of patients with thoracic spine pain. Variation in patient anatomy and unfamiliarity with a safe and reliable technique often makes thoracic procedures challenging to even experienced practitioners.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Assess why, when, and how to perform thoracic ESI based on the patient’s clinical symptoms and imaging findings;
  • Identify the variations in anatomy and the adaptation of safe interventional techniques;
  • Summarize the technique and evidence-base for thoracic medial branch blocks (MBB).


Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injections -Armando Barbosa, MD


Anatomy of Medial Branch Blocks -F.H. Willard, PhD


Thoracic MBB/RF Neurotomy: Technique and Efficacy Data -Stephan Klessinger, MD






Adjourn for the Day




Networking Reception with Exhibitors




Research Poster Presentations




Sunday 25 March


Morning Coffee with Exhibitors




The Borderlands to the Spine: Shoulder and Hip


Moderator: Edvin Koshi, MD
Speakers: David J. Kennedy, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD; Timothy Maus, MD; Sanjeeva Gupta, MD


Indications for spinal injections requires understanding spine disorders as well as the understanding of non-spine disorders that could present with similar clinical pictures. This session,will provide information on these competing disorders, and explain the anatomical and physiological rationale for those similarities.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Distinguish other conditions that present with a clinical picture similar to that of spine disorders.
  • Recognize the features in history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests which distinguish these disorders from those of the spine.


Shoulder Girdle vs. Cervical Spine: Differentiating Shoulder Issues vs. Low Cervical Radiculopathy or Facet Pain -David J. Kennedy, MD


Hip vs. Lumbar -Matthew Smuck, MD


SI Joint: Anatomy, Function, Innervation, and Therapy of SI Pain -Timothy Maus, MD






Coffee Break with Exhibitors




Orphan Procedures: Cordotomy—Efficacy Data and Technique


Speaker: Manohar Sharma, MD


There is limited access to cordotomy for medically refractory cancer-related pain. This session will describe the speaker's experience, cordotomy’s indications, efficacy data, and initial results from a national cordotomy registry.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Assess the indications for cordotomy, when to refer for cordotomy, and who may be an appropriate patient for this technique.




Risk Mitigation and Safety


Moderator: Timothy Maus, MD
Speakers: David J. Kennedy, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD


Safe performance of spinal interventions requires proper patient selection and meticulous technique. Over the past 15 years, the root causes of neurologic complications after transforaminal epidural steroid injections have been provisionally identified and risk mitigation techniques have been described. Long held beliefs regarding the risks of anticoagulants have been challenged by new data. Spine interventionalists must thoughtfully examine emerging literature to best protect their patients.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the relative risks and efficacy of particulate (suspension) and non-particulate (solution) steroid formulations;
  • Identify the relative risks of anticoagulant withdrawal versus continuation in typical spine interventions;
  • Identify risk mitigation techniques that will reduce the risk of neurological complications in spine interventions.


Particulate vs. Non-particulate -David J. Kennedy, MD


Interventions and Anticoagulants -Matthew Smuck, MD


Neurological Complications in Spine Interventions






Good Practice Guidelines/Consensus Statements for Pain Interventions


Moderator: Sanjeeva Gupta, MD
Speakers: Sanjeeva Gupta, MD; Manohar Sharma, MD


The Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the British Pain Society have published good practice guidelines as well as a consensus statement on various aspects of interventional pain procedures.Key aspects of these publications will be discussed.


Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the rationale for and promote key aspects of the Good Practice Guidelines published by the Faculty of Pain Medicine and the British Pain Society.




Congress Adjourns



2018 European Congress Planning Committee Co-Chairs

Arun Bhaskar, MB BS
London, England

Sanjeeva Gupta, MD
Leeds, England

Moderators, Speakers, and Planners Subject to Change
Armando Barbosa, MD
Lisbon, Portugal

Neil Collighan, MB ChB*
Kent, England

Javier De Andrés Ares, MD*
Madrid, Spain

Anthony Hammond, MD
Kent, England

G. Michael Hess, MD
Munich, Germany

David J. Kennedy, MD
Redwood City, California, USA

Stephan Klessinger, MD
Ulm, Germany

Edvin Koshi, MD
Halifax, Canada

SIS President
Timothy Maus, MD*
Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Barry Miller, MB ChB
Lancashire, England

Rajesh Munglani, MD
Cambridge, England

Manohar Sharma, MD, MB BS*
Wirral, England

Matthew Smuck, MD
Redwood City, California, USA

John Tanner, BSc, MB BS
Oving, England

Stephen Ward, MB BS
Haywards Heath, England

Christopher Wells, MD
Liverpool, England

F.H. Willard, PhD
Biddeford, Maine, USA

*Planning Committee Member

The Hilton London Bankside provides the perfect starting point for exploring all that London has to offer. World-renowned attractions including the Tate Modern art gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, The Shard—Western Europe’s tallest building, and the Thames-spanning Millennium Bridge walkway are all within a one-mile stroll.

For reservations by phone, call +44-20-36675600 or reserve online by clicking here

Hilton London Bankside
2-8 Great Suffolk Street
London, SE1 0UG, England

Heathrow Airport (LHR) is located 18 miles from the Hilton London Bankside. Please arrange your own ground transportation to the hotel. Additional information can be found by clicking here.

Registration and CME Info
Physician Members: $700
Military Members/Fellows/Residents/Medical Students: $400

Allied Health Professionals: $400

Non-Members: $900


Your Congress General Assembly registration includes access to: General Assembly sessions (providing up to 13.50 CME credits), a welcome reception on Friday 23 March, networking breaks, and an exhibit area. All General Assembly registration fees will increase in $100 increments on 26 January 2018 and again on 2 March 2018.


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 13.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Meeting evaluations will be sent to all attendees via email and must be completed online in order for SIS to issue appropriate CME credit. Attendees can expect their CME certificates to be emailed to them three weeks after their completion of the evaluation form.


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 techniques can improve patient outcomes;
  • Cite the evidentiary basis for the use of diagnostic blocks in the identification of spine pain generators;
  • Examine emerging literature to mitigate risks and to practice spine interventions safely and best protect patients.

Special Accommodations


Cancellation Policy

The Spine Intervention Society requires cancellation at least 21 days prior to the Congress 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.

The material presented at the 2018 European Congress is made available for educational purposes only. The material is not intended to represent the only, nor necessarily the best, method or procedure appropriate for the medical situations discussed; rather, it is intended to present an approach, view, statement, or opinion of a speaker which may be helpful to others who face similar situations. SIS disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages to any individual attending the meeting and for all claims which may arise out of the use of the techniques demonstrated therein by such individuals whether these claims are asserted by physicians or any other person. On occasion, slight changes in meeting content or speakers may occur after the programme has been distributed. Any further changes from the published programmes will be announced at the beginning of the session.


Photography Disclaimer
By virtue of participation in the Congress, attendees agree to hold harmless and indemnify the Society from any and all claims involving the use of their picture or likeness. The Society reserves the right to use any photographs or videos taken at the Congress without the expressed written permission of those included within. The Society may record your likeness, image, voice, sound effects, interview, and performance and edit and incorporate such recording into formats, including but not limited to, educational, literary, and/or promotional materials such as advertising, website, and social media content with or without the participant’s name.

SIS shall retain final editorial, artistic, and technical control of the recording and content from the Congress and may use and authorize others to use the recording, and any portions thereof, in all markets, manner, and media, whether now known or hereafter developed, throughout the universe in perpetuity. SIS and/or its successors and assignees, shall own all rights, title, and interest, including the copyright, in and to the recording and related materials to be used and disposed of without limitation, as SIS shall determine.


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 policy requires program speakers, moderators, committee chairs, committee members, planners, and staff to disclose all financial relationships they may have or have had within the last twelve (12) months with commercial interests whose products or services may impact their presentation.

The 2018 European Congress Planning Committee 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 participants verbally and on their 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, and 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.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration Disclosure
If a device or drug requiring U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval is identified as an important component of a presentation, the author must indicate the FDA status of those devices or drugs as “Approved,” “Investigational,” or “Not Approved” for distribution within the United States. The FDA has stated it is the responsibility of the physician to determine the FDA status of each drug or device that he or she wishes to use in clinical practice and to use these products in compliance with applicable law.


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