General Session Agenda

Annual Meeting Homepage
Pre- and Post-Meeting Bio-Skills Labs
6th Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk for Research

Hotel and Travel

Silent Auction

SIS Fundraiser at Yankee Stadium

Make Your Reservation at the New York Hilton Midtown. Then, With Your Code from the Hotel,
Register for the Meeting
at a Special Discount



Schedule Subject to Change

Wednesday, August 14

Ultrasound Interventions of the Spine and Masqueraders Bio-Skills Lab

Onsite Precourse (Additional Fee Required)

8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

For pre- and postcourse information, click here.

Accreditation in Evidence-Based Medicine: Part I Assessing Studies of Treatment
Discussion Session (Prerequisite: Completion of Online SpineNet EBM Course)
3:00-5:00 p.m.

Accreditation in Evidence-Based Medicine: Part II Assessing Studies of Diagnostic Tests and Strategies
Discussion Session (Prerequisite: Completion of Online SpineNet EBM Course)
3:00-5:00 p.m.

Annual Meeting Registration Desk Open
5:00–7:30 p.m.

CME Research Poster Presentations With Authors
6:00–7:00 p.m.

Meet the poster abstract authors as they showcase their research during an interactive 1-hour CME session. Although posters will be on display during the entire Annual Meeting, to be awarded CME credit, you must attend this session.

Welcome Reception
6:00-7:30 p.m.

Your first networking opportunity during the Annual Meeting, the Welcome Reception is the perfect way to make new acquaintances and rekindle old relationships with your peers.


Thursday, August 15

Continental Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
8:00-8:45 a.m.

Registration Open
8:00 a.m.–5:40 p.m.

Welcome Remarks
8:40–8:45 a.m.
Speaker: Annual Meeting Chair Vinil Shah, MD

From Science to Practice: Where We Are Headed
8:45-9:45 a.m.
Moderator: Marzena Buzanowska, MD
Speaker: Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD

Consider treatment targets that address the mechanisms rather than simply the symptoms of discogenic low back pain and leverage multiple regenerative medicine modalities in the hostile intervertebral disc environment that may improve the safety and efficacy of intradiscal biologics.

8:45 - Using Biology to Define Treatments for Low Back Pain

Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD

9:25 - Challenges Facing Intradiscal Biologics
Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD


Presidential Address

9:45-10:00 a.m.
SIS President: Timothy Maus, MD

Fundraising Committee Update
10:00-10:05 a.m.
Speaker: Fred DeFrancesch, MD

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
10:05-10:35 a.m.

Regenerative Medicine: Clinical Practice
10:35 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Moderator: Alison Stout, DO
Speakers: Wenchun Qu, MD, PhD; Gerard A. Malanga, MD; Christopher J. Rogers, MD

Hear about new advances in regenerative medicine and intra-articular regenerative therapies.

10:35 - Historical Perspective and New Advances in Regenerative Medicine
Wenchun Qu, MD, PhD

11:05 - Musculoskeletal Regenerative Therapies in Clinical Practice
Gerard A. Malanga, MD

11:25 - Ethics, Regulatory Issues, and the Future of Regenerative Therapies
Christopher J. Rogers, MD

11:45 - Discussion

AVANOS Medical Lunch and Presentation (Non-CME)
12:00-1:20 p.m.

Fluoroscopy: Image Interpretation and Novel Technologies
1:20-2:50 p.m.
Milan P. Stojanovic, MD
Timothy Maus, MD; Jatinder Gill, MD; Greta Liebo, MD; John A. Carrino, MD, MPH

Explore the correlation of cross-sectional imaging with fluoroscopic landmarks and review new ways to access the epidural space and interpret contrast flow patterns. The session will also introduce 3-D X-ray imaging technology as a novel approach for future spinal interventions.

1:20 - Correlation of Cross-Sectional Imaging and Fluoroscopic Landmarks
Timothy Maus, MD

1:40 - Epidural Access: Technical Update and 3D Comprehension
Jatinder Gill, MD

2:00 - Contrast Flow Patterns
Greta Liebo, MD

2:20 - Frontiers in Fluoroscopy: Digital 3-D X-ray Imaging
John A. Carrino, MD, MPH

2:40 - Discussion

A Critical Review of the Influential Papers of 2018
2:50-3:50 p.m.
Moderator: Nathaniel M. Schuster, MD

Experience a critical assessment of the methods, findings, and potential impact on your practice from last year's  most influential interventional spine papers as selected by the SIS Research Division.

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
3:50-4:20 p.m.

Coding Quick Hit
4:20-4:30 p.m.

FactFinders Presents
4:30-4:35 p.m.

Research Division Update
4:35-4:40 p.m.
Speaker: David Levi, MD

Dr. Levi shares the latest developments on Society-funded research studies, research protocols for high-priority topics, online opportunities for members to earn CME credit for journal article review, and other efforts to encourage research in our field.

Top Research Abstract Presentations
4:40-5:40 p.m.
Moderator: David Levi, MD

Learn how the award-winning abstract authors among you are expanding the evidence base of spine intervention procedures. The 2019 recipient of the Nikolai Bogduk Young Investigator Grant will be announced during this session.

Adjourn for the Day 
5:40 p.m.

SIS Fundraiser at Yankee Stadium (Additional Registration Required - Limited Availability)
First Pitch 7:05 p.m.

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience in the Bronx while you support SIS advocacy, education, and research.

Friday, August 16

Continental Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
8:00-8:45 a.m.

Registration Open
8:00 a.m.–5:50 p.m.

Discogenic Pain
8:45-10:15 a.m.
Moderator: David Levi, MD
Speakers: Mehul J. Desai, MD, MPH; Byron J. Schneider, MD; Vance Lehman, MD; David Levi, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD

How effective is biacuplasty treatment? Are there actual long-term risks associated with performing provocation discography? Can MRI findings or elements in a patient’s history predict positive discography? As we discover more about the importance of the endplate as a source of pain, could basivertebral nerve ablation be an effective treatment option?

8:45 - Biacuplasty for Discogenic Low Back Pain
Mehul J. Desai, MD, MPH

9:05 - Why I Wouldn't Recommend Biacuplasty for My Patients
Byron J. Schneider, MD

9:10 -  Dr. Desai's Rebuttal
Mehul J. Desai, MD, MPH

9:15 - The Long Term Risks of Provocation Discography
Vance Lehman, MD

9:25 - Is Episodic Low Back Pain Discogenic?
David Levi, MD

9:35 - Image Findings Consistent with Discogenic Pain
Vance Lehman, MD

9:50 - Basivertebral Nerve Ablation for Endplate Pain
Matthew Smuck, MD

10:05 - Discussion

Coding Quick Hit
10:15-10:25 a.m.

FactFinders Presents

10:25-10:30 a.m.

SIS Business Meeting (Members Only)
10:30-10:45 a.m.
Speakers: Timothy Maus, MD; Matthew Smuck, MD

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
10:45-11:15 a.m.

Imaging Part 1
11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Speakers: Timothy Maus, MD; Felix Diehn, MD

Advanced imaging is essential for planning safe and effective interventional spine procedures. This imaging session will utilize full imaging datasets to consider common challenges when planning lumbar epidural steroid injections, selective nerve blocks, and intra-articular facet access procedures. The presentations will also explore preparing for optimal approaches, as well as fallback strategies when observed flow patterns are not ideal.

Fundraising Committee Update

12:00-12:05 p.m.
Speaker: Fred DeFrancesch, MD

Nevro Lunch and Presentation (Non-CME)
12:05-1:20 p.m.

Facet Joint Pain
1:20-2:45 p.m.
Moderator: Byron J. Schneider, MD
Speakers: Byron J. Schneider, MD; David J. "D.J." Kennedy, MD; Steven P. Cohen, MD

Review the most recent evidence on intra-articular injections of both corticosteroids and other agents into the zygapophyseal joints. The differences between the diagnostic and prognostic validity of medial branch blocks will be covered, with discussion on how this pertains to clinical practice.

1:20 - Zygapophyseal Joint Injections
Byron J. Schneider, MD

1:45 - Medial Branch Blocks: Diagnostic Validity and Optimizing Scientific Rigor
David J. "D.J." Kennedy, MD

2:10 - The Prognostic and Clinical Interpretation of Medial Branch Blocks: Optimizing Outcomes in Clinical Practice
Steven P. Cohen, MD

2:35 - Discussion

Coding Quick Hit
2:45-2:55 p.m.

FactFinders Presents
2:55-3:00 p.m.

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
3:00-3:30 p.m.

Education Division Update
3:30-3:35 p.m.
Education Division Chair: Alison Stout, DO

Dr. Stout, the SIS Education Division Chair, shares the latest developments related to the Division’s education initiatives.

The Future of Molecular Treatments
3:35-4:35 p.m.
Timothy Maus, MD
Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD; Timothy Maus, MD

The first generation of interventional pain procedures relied on limited classes of drugs (local anesthetics, corticosteroids) and selected patients based on a synthesis of often imprecise imaging and clinical data. Going forward, there will be opportunities to more precisely interrupt the nociceptive pathway with molecularly specific agents, retard the degenerative cascade, and select patients with greater precision.

3:35 - Improved Phenotyping to Facilitate Patient Selection for Spine Treatments
Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD

3:55 - A Dual Selective Analgesic Strategy
Timothy Maus, MD

4:25 - Discussion

Sex and Gender Differences in Pain
4:35-5:50 p.m.
Ameet Nagpal, MD, MS, MEd
Anne Z. Murphy, PhD; Andrea L. Nicol, MD, MSc; Patricia Zheng, MD

Sex and gender differences in chronic spinal and non-spinal pain are an emerging area of research. It is clear from animal and human data that pain and how it is managed differs between men and women, as well as in those who identify as transgender. This session will cover current animal data that describe the impact of biological sex on pain and its modulation by opioids, gender-specific spine anatomy variation that may predispose to different responses to spinal interventions, and clinical pathways for treating pain based upon gender and sex and influences.

4:35 - Sex Differences in Pain Management in Rodent Models
Anne Z. Murphy, PhD

4:55 - Gender Variation in Spine Anatomy and Biomechanics
Andrea L. Nicol, MD, MSc

5:15 - Gender and Sex Influence in the Clinical Treatment of Pain
Patricia Zheng, MD

5:35 - Discussion

Adjourn for the Day
5:50 p.m.


Saturday, August 17

6th Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk for Research (Additional registration required)
6:00-8:00 a.m.

Have an unforgettable Central Park experience with colleagues and family at the 6th Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk for Research. This year, choose between running the 5K or finding your zen in a new Power Walk & Stretch. Click here for details.

Continental Breakfast
8:30-9:00 a.m.

Registration Open
8:00 a.m.-5:50 p.m.

Pearls from the Masters of Interventional Techniques
9:00-10:10 a.m.
Moderator: Adrian Popescu, MD
Speakers: John MacVicar, MB ChB; Richard Derby, MD; Joshua Rittenberg, MD

Discover clinical, technical, and procedural pearls from these master-level interventional spine physicians' most challenging cases.

9:00 - Cervical Radiofrequency Neurotomy
John MacVicar, MB ChB

9:20 - Technical Pearls for the Future: Planning is Everything
Richard Derby, MD

9:40 - This is Different: Would You Abort the Case?
Joshua Rittenberg, MD

10:00 - Discussion  

Health Policy Division Update
10:10-10:15 a.m.
Health Policy Division Chair:
Scott Horn, DO

Dr. Horn, the SIS Health Policy Division Chair, summarizes efforts to advocate for access to quality spine interventions, an optimal practice environment for qualified physicians, and appropriate reimbursement.

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
10:15-10:45 a.m.

Peripheral Nerve Entrapments
10:45-11:55 a.m.
Moderator: Vinil Shah, MD
Speakers: Ligia V. Onofrei, MD; Jeffrey A. Strakowski, MD; John A. Carrino, MD, MPH

Review the clinical manifestations of common peripheral nerve entrapments with an emphasis on the correlation of relevant clinical information with imaging studies to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. The role of imaging in guiding treatment and monitoring treatment response will also be discussed.

10:45 - Clinical Assessment of Patients with Peripheral Nerve Entrapments
Ligia V. Onofrei, MD

11:05 - The Role of Ultrasound in Assessing Patients with Peripheral Neuropathies
Jeffrey A. Strakowski, MD 

11:25 - Magnetic Resonance Neurography
John A. Carrino, MD, MPH

11:45 - Discussion

Be the Voice in the Wilderness: Your Opportunities to Promote Safe, High Quality Care
11:55 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Scott Horn, DO
Speakers: Scott Horn, DO; David O'Brien, Jr., MD; Ariz R. Mehta, MD; Yusef Sayeed, MD

External forces are threatening our ability to provide safe and appropriate care to our patients. Inappropriate coverage policies restrict patient access to safe and effective procedures and are too often are developed without input from experts. What is SIS doing and what can you do, as an individual, to promote continued access to safe and effective procedures? 

11:55 - Combating Policies Restricting Coverage/Access to Procedures: What SIS is Doing
Scott Horn, DO

Combating Policies Restricting Coverage/Access to Procedures: What Individual Members Can Do 

12:05 - Local/State Level
David O'Brien, Jr., MD

12:15 -  State/Regional Level
Ariz R. Mehta, MD

12:25 - National Level 
Yusef Sayeed, MD

12:35 - Discussion

12:45-2:05 p.m.

Research Abstract Podium Presentations
2:05-3:05 p.m.
Moderator: David Levi, MD

Join Dr. Levi as he presents the latest in your peers' research. All abstracts presented today also will be published in Pain Medicine.

Standards Division Update
3:05-3:10 p.m.
Standards Division Chair:
Yakov Vorobeychik, MD, PhD

Dr. Vorobeychik, the SIS Standards Division Chair, shares the latest developments related to projects that define best practices for the safe performance of interventional spine procedures.

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
3:10-3:35 p.m.

Imaging: Part 2
3:35-4:20 p.m.
Speakers: Timothy Maus, MD; Felix Diehn, MD

Emerging Spine Technologies
4:20-5:50 p.m.
Scott Naftulin, DO
Speakers: Aaron Calodney, MD; Kamyar Assil, MD; George Rappard, MD; Michael Leong, MD

Review several new minimally invasive treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis, a common degenerative condition associated with neurogenic claudication and functional impairment.

4:20 - The MIST Guidelines: The Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Consensus Group Guidelines for Minimally Invasive Spine Treatment

Aaron Calodney, MD

4:40 - Interspinous Process Decompression
Kamyar Assil, MD

5:00 - Endoscopic Decompression
George Rappard, MD

5:15 - Percutaneous Decompressive Laminotomy
Michael Leong, MD

5:35 - Discussion

Meeting Adjourns
5:50 p.m.


Sunday, August 18

Neurostimulation Bio-Skills Lab

Offsite Postcourse (Additional Fee Required)

7:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

For pre- and postcourse information, click here.


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