Surgical, medical and integrated symposia will offer a wide range of content for every spine care professional.
Please note: The dates and times will change as we transition to a virtual platform.

7:35-8:35 a.m.

Surgical Symposium: Endoscopic Spine Surgery: Cost, Data and Advances
Faculty will cover important considerations for incorporating endoscopy in your practice, including the cost of developing an endoscopy practice, training and proper coding of endoscopic techniques. Endoscopy in ambulatory care surgery, laser endoscopic spine surgery and robotics in combination with endoscopy also are on the program in addition to a debate—is endoscopy a fad or the best thing ever—with Q&A to follow.

Surgical Symposium: A Global Perspective on Degenerative Lumbar Spine
International session

8:35-10:00 a.m.

Plenary Session: Defining a Pathway to Optimize Outcomes in Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: From Current Guidelines to the RECODE Pathway
Faculty will discuss degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) research priorities, unanswered research questions, and set of baseline characteristics and outcomes measurements as well as partnerships to maximize research impact and new opportunities to contribute to care advances in DCM through research.

10:35 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Multidisciplinary Symposium: COVID-19

Multidisciplinary Symposium: Leadership Perspective: Practical Solutions to Impact Physicians’ Professional Fulfillment
Faculty will discuss signs and symptoms of burnout, lessons learned, workplace and work-life balance interventions for physician professional fulfillment, and action plan to address physician professional fulfillment in your own organization.

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Surgical Symposium: A Global Perspective on Deformity
International session
7:25-8:25 a.m.

Surgical Symposium: Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion-Why is it Better?

Faculty will address the evolution and anatomic basis of the oblique anterolateral approach, advantages and potential pitfalls of the oblique technique, different variations of the technique and approach as well as assess the special anatomic considerations when including L5-S1 in the fusion.

Medical Symposium: Physiological Modifications for Cost Effectiveness and Enhanced Recovery: Enhanced Recovery after Spine Surgery (ERASS) - Early Results and Implementation
Faculty will provide an overview of ERASS and key interventions, as well as discuss the results from early protocols implementation in different institutions, anesthesia protocols to minimize redundancy and EMR incorporation for data translation. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion and Q&A.

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Plenary Session: Physicians in the Crosshairs: Government Enforcement Trends and Priorities Affecting Physicians and Physician Practices
In this session, faculty will cover the major statutes and regulations governing health care providers as well as present recent examples of enforcement initiatives and tips on how to stay off the government's radar. Hear from a former federal healthcare fraud prosecutor turned defense lawyer about trends and priorities in government enforcement. 

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Surgical Symposium: Complex Cervical Deformity: Optimizing Management
Faculty will address assessment and treatment options for adult cervical spine deformity, specifically identifying the radiographic parameters most predictive of disability for cervical spine deformities, reviewing how the cervical spine classification can differentiate between deformity types and guide surgical treatment, differentiate between flexible and rigid cervical deformities to help guide treatment options in addition to identifying catastrophic complications associated with cervical deformity surgery and how to avoid these complications.

Medical Symposium: Social Media: How to Use it and Not
Faculty will explain how to develop a social media presence, the importance of #hashtag for information search, how to uphold patient privacy in media posting and the deterrents of using social media. Additionally, participants will learn about website optimization, different social media platforms, the management of bad comments and how to create patient chat groups.

2:05-3:05 p.m.

Surgical Symposium: Transforming Your Practice with Minimally Invasive Spine Care Using Evidenced-Based Validation
This symposium is for spine surgeons who recognize the need to modernize their practice by including minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgery but are not sure how and need practical hands-on tips. Faculty will discuss preoperative diagnostic workup and surgical care of patients suffering from sciatica-type low back and leg pain using cutting-edge MIS technologies to manage herniated disc and spinal stenosis. Participants will be able to measure the improvement of their specific knowledge base by comparing responses to an identical set of controversial clinical questions asked of them at the beginning and the conclusion of the symposium.

Surgical Symposium: Perioperative Optimization in Adult Spinal Deformity
Faculty will highlight research findings from the International Spine Study Group to help diagnose and prevent complications associated with spine deformity surgery, review recent innovations developed for surgical techniques and patient diagnostics to improve surgical outcomes, and address perioperative optimization to decrease risks and improve clinical outcomes in adult spine deformity patients.

3:35-5:05 p.m.

Medical Symposium: Spinal Cord Injury
Faculty will present novel strategies to reverse the functional loss after severe SCI, ranging from stem cells, epidural stimulations, brain-machine interface and neuroplasticity enhancement. Additionally, they will discuss the newest advances in translational spinal cord injury research and enrolling in new SCI trials, as well as review strategies to minimize the risk of perioperative spinal cord injury and discuss strategies on how to manage injury once occurred.

Surgical Symposium: A Global Perspective on Cervical Spine
International session
7:30-8:55 a.m.

Surgical Symposium: Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM): To Use or Not to Use, That is the Question: Intraoperative Neuromonitoring and Deformity Surgery
In this symposium, faculty will review the basics of intraoperative neuromonitoring, discuss algorithms for intraoperative changes, and review pathology/technique specific applications of intraoperative neuromonitoring. The goal is to facilitate decision-making regarding the utilization of IONM.

Medical Symposium: Section on Biologics: Choosing the Perfect Bone Graft: What are the Biologic Requirements for Fusion by Procedure?
As the correlation between frailty and perioperative risk is becoming widely accepted, faculty will explore the multidisciplinary approaches likely to optimize clinical outcomes following spine surgery in the geriatric population, as well as present the types of osteobiologics and related evidence with an emphasis on recombinant proteins/peptides, and include small molecules or biologics with a similar mode of action as BMP2.

9:00-10:00 a.m.

Plenary Session: The Future of Value-Based Healthcare in Spine Care: A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective
A multi-stakeholder group of faculty will explain the differences between fee-for-service health care and value-based health care, identify data elements required to participate in VBHC (cost/quality) and explain VBHC programs of today and the recent past and how to participate.

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Surgical Symposium: AOSpine NA: Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
International session

1:00-2:30 p.m.

Multidisciplinary Symposium: Health Care and the 2020 Elections
Faculty will take an in-depth look at what the 2020 election may mean for the future of health care, especially as it pertains to spine care providers’ ability to deliver high quality care to patients. Participants will gain a better understanding of how potential outcomes align with NASS priorities and how NASS Advocacy efforts are working to shape this conversation.

Surgical Symposium: The Sacroiliac Joint: Where Does It Fit Within Your Practice?
During this symposium, faculty will cover the major causes for cervical revision surgery, explain why cervical spine revision surgery is more than a re-do surgery, present specific strategies to successfully solve typical case scenarios, and address how to minimize the risk of new complications in revision surgery.

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Medical Symposium: Muscle Health as a Biomarker for Functional Recovery Following Spine Pain and Injury
Faculty will classify spinal muscle structure, function, and pathological changes in the presence of spinal disease, address the impact of muscle health on pre- and post-operative outcomes, and identify new technologies and advancements for characterizing muscle health and their value in clinical decision making. Additionally, they will describe the benefits of exercise for general health and various conditions relevant to spine care and present essential knowledge to help spine providers make informed decisions to appropriately match exercise programs to the unique characteristics of each patient.

Surgical Symposium: A Global Perspective on Trauma
International session

4:05-5:05 p.m.

Medical Symposium: Ambulatory Care Surgery Practice and Applications; Spine Surgery in the Ambulatory Care Setting: Getting Patients Home Happy
Faculty will present the pros and cons of working in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) practice as well as discuss ASC vs. hospital-based practice, reimbursement patterns for Medicare and private insurance, adopting ASC in your practice, and common surgeries performed in ASCs.
8:00-9:00 a.m.

Plenary Session: Health Care Disruption – To Brace or Embrace? Health Care Finance Implications for Surgeons and Patients: Taking the Bull by the Horns
Faculty will discuss the aspects of spine surgery facing disruption, pros and cons of financial issues in ASCs vs. hospitals, the transformation of healthcare with big data and Blue Button technology, as well as present Medicare health policies and current CMS laws on pricing display for procedures.

9:00-10:00 a.m.

Multidisciplinary Symposium: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Spine Surgery
Faculty will describe the core principles of machine learning for prognosis and diagnosis in spine care, review recent progress in applications of deep learning and natural language processing for spine surgery, present guidelines and best practices for development and use of machine learning tools in spine surgery, and identify emerging areas of artificial intelligence for future translation to spine surgery.

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Surgical Symposium: Surgical Strategies for Complications and Revision Surgery in Cervical Spine Surgery
Participants will gain insight about the anatomy and biomechanics of the SI joint and the current state of the art evidence-based SI joint medical and surgical treatments as well as understand the SI joint as a possible source of pain vs. lumbar spine and/or hip.

Medical Symposium: Section on Spinal Oncology Symposium: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Difficult Spine Tumor Cases
During this case-based symposium, faculty will describe the appropriate workup/treatment of spinal tumors of unknown origin, the factors in determining treatment of a patient with a contaminated prior open approach to a primary lesion, and the criteria for diagnosis and treatment options for metastatic lesions. Additionally, participants will understand how to diagnose and treat high-grade spinal cord compression from metastatic tumors and when radiation is appropriate to perform.

Multidisciplinary Education

Please note: The dates and times will change as we transition to a virtual platform.

Abstract Presentations

This year’s meeting will feature 35 multidisciplinary abstract sessions encompassing 385 abstract presentations highlighting detailed research, with discussion to follow. NASS received 1,233 abstracts for the meeting (810 surgical and 423 medical). There were 231 surgical and 154 medical abstracts were accepted for presentation.

Section Specialty Track

Symposia and/or abstract presentations will focus on section specialty topics.

Wednesday, October 7
  • Section on Biologics and Basic Research
  • Section on Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring
  • Section on Minimally Invasive Procedures
  • Section on Posterior Pelvic Girdle Pain
  • Section on Radiology
  • Section on Rehabilitation, Interventional and Medical Spine
  • Section on Robotics and Navigation
  • Section on Spinal Cord Injury
  • Section on Spine Motion Technology
  • Section on Spine Oncology

Interdisciplinary Spine Forum

Specialty educational sessions for physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, chiropractors and other spine specialists.

Wednesday-Friday, October 7-9
  • Treating Olympic Athletes
  • Worksite Health Centers
  • Thoracic Spine Surgery
  • Right Provider, Right Time
  • Neurological Disease with Back Pain