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Patients throughout Europe benefit from Innovations in the field of Spine Medicine!

Copenhagen/ Denmark. EUROSPINE, the annual general meeting of the Spine Society of Europe, was taking place from September 2-4, 2015 in Bella Center, Copenhagen. Bringing together spine specialists from all over the world and providing the opportunity to exchange their knowledge and experiences the congress was a great success: over 3.600 participants, 2.200 spine specialists of various disciplines were participating at the most important platform for exchanging the latest research results and innovations in the treatment of spinal disorder and 1.400 industrial partners. Meeting to discuss current issues their extensive know how offered the chance to improve medical outcomes.

The idea of EUROSPINE 2015 was to coordinate the efforts undertaken in European countries for further development: “The aim was to combine existing knowledge and to develop and implement concepts for the benefit of patients across Europe” emphasised the local hosts Finn Bjarke Christensen, University Hospital of Aarhus, and Martin Gehrchen, Rigshospitalet, University Hospital of Copenhagen. “Continuing this path together with the support of international experts, the formulated wish of EUROSPINE 2015 was very successful.”

Haluk Berk, EUROSPINE President and Professor at Dokuz Eylul University School of medicine, Izmir, Turkey, highlights especially that a record number of 949 abstracts were submitted – “despite more stringent formal requirements (established as part of the society’s long-term strategy). Previous records were set at EUROSPINE 2011 in Milan (878 abstracts), followed by EUROSPINE 2014 in Lyon (547 abstracts).”

Renowned experts informed about recent research developments, trends and methods. The congress outline included 9 scientific sessions (non-concurrent), 6 concurrent QuickFire

sessions, 2 debates, 1 keynote lecture, 6 EUROSPINE lunch symposia and pre-meeting courses. Furthermore, a new scientific award category had been inaugurated: the Best of Outside‐Europe Presentations Award to be conferred during the Annual Meeting.

Main topics at EUROSPINE 2015 were spinal disorders and deformities in adolescents, degenerative spinal disorders and non-degenerative spinal disease (trauma, tumour, infection). Another focus related to the cervical spine. Specific topics dealed with the consequences of rehabilitation for spinal surgery, with the area of the spine oncology and new techniques and patient safety as an important aspect of quality assurance. Concerning the spinal oncology, new research results were presented: The surgical treatment of patients with spinal metastasis improves quality of life. As a further key finding was presented the importance of rehabilitation for improving outcomes of spine surgery for chronic back pain patients.

An important focus was on the field of basic research. In recent years, a significant advancement of surgical treatment options could be achieved through technical progress and improved diagnostic possibilities. In additional steps, customised therapeutic concepts for individually different clinical pictures and different stages of spinal disorders were developed, as EUROSPINE 2015 featured in a record number of abstract submissions, new scientific categories and prestigious awards. So EUROSPINE 2015 was considered the leading platform for sharing innovation and the latest research in the treatment of spinal disorders and offered the strongest scientific programme to date.

Topics included: adult thoraco‐lumbar degenerative conditions and deformity, growing spine, cervical spine, as well as basic science – all in keeping with EUROSPINE’s primary objective of finding innovative solutions to help patients who suffer from spinal disorders. Furthermore, a popular new scientific category “New Techniques and Patient Safety” had been introduced, prompting the submission of more than 200 abstracts for this topic alone.

As part of its Way Forward strategy – and to ensure that its Annual Meeting remains the foremost scientific gathering in Europe for spine specialists – EUROSPINE had enacted certain changes to its Annual Meeting. For the Copenhagen event, formal requirements for abstract submissions had been strictly enforced. Furthermore, the declaration of interests from every abstract co-author had been made mandatory throughout the review process and upon presentation of accepted abstracts during the conference. The integration of basic science presentations into clinical sessions – which has proved to be very successful – was continued. National representatives from leading basic research centres had been invited to an informal meeting on ‘future concepts of cooperation’ during the Copenhagen conference.

In conclusion, it can be said that patients throughout Europe benefit from innovations in the field of spine medicine which were discussed at EUROSPINE 2015. “The purpose was to improve general understanding and outcomes of spinal treatment and additionally reduce surgical trauma, using the latest technology so that spine surgery could be performed very precisely, gently and safely despite difficult anatomic conditions”, said Thomas Blattert, Chair of the EUROSPINE Programme Committee, Department of Spine Surgery and Traumatology, Germany.

All can be found at www.eurospinemeeting.eu. The annual general meeting of the Spine Society of Europe will be continued next year at EUROSPINE 2016 taking place in Berlin, Germany.