NASS Insider

January 10, 2023

The NASS Backbone: Section Chair Edition

Welcome again to The NASS Backbone, the series bringing our NASS volunteers to the forefront. NASS has a multitude of committees, sections, workgroups, and task forces working hard to bring the best spine education, research, and advocacy directly to you. But who are these volunteers, and why do they do what they do? This series highlights various volunteers from all areas of NASS, showcasing their experiences both within and outside of NASS.

In this edition, we talk to Hani Mhaidli, MD, Co-Chair of the Section on Spinal Deformity.

Hani Mhaidli, MD
Hani Mhaidli, MD
NASS: Tell us a bit about yourself ...
Dr. Mhaidli: My name is Hani Mhaidli. I am an orthopaedic spine surgeon, and I’ve been co-chairing the Section on Spinal Deformity since 2019. I studied medicine in Madrid, did a spine fellowship at Johns Hopkins, and have been practicing spine and living in Las Palmas Canary Islands, Spain for the last 30 years.

NASS: What has been your favorite part about being part of this Section? What interested you in joining in the first place?
Dr. Mhaidli: During the Annual Meetings and NASS courses, active NASS members such as Patrick Hsieh, J.J. Abitbol, Norman Chutkan, Tony Tannoury, and I talked about creating a spine deformity Section since non-operative spine care is controversial as to its effectiveness, and surgical care remains problematic with high complication and revision rates. I undertook to apply for the creation of the Section. Thanks to the strong support of past president Dr. Wang and Dr. Reitman, the Section was approved in August 2019 by the Development Committee. Dr. Larry Lenke agreed to lead the Section together with Dr. Raymond Hah and myself.
NASS: What professions/specialties/experience make up the members of this Section?
Dr. Mhaidli: Since this is a newer Section, the first members were orthopedic spine and neurosurgeons specializing in spine deformity. We have since opened the Section to other professionals of spine deformity care.

NASS: In your opinion, how does this Section further NASS' mission to provide multidisciplinary evidence-based healthcare to members?
Dr. Mhaidli: In order to provide evidence-based healthcare to members, this Section will publish handbooks and guides for professionals as well as for their patients with information on alternative treatments, and recommendations for self-care, promote peer reviews of articles on spine deformity, contribute articles to The Spine Journal and Spine Line, and optimize spine deformity educational offerings at the NASS Annual Meeting.

NASS: What are key goals of the upcoming year? Challenges?
Dr. Mhaidli: Among the goals of this Section are: collaborating in educational partnerships with spine deformity organizations within NASS and others in North America and worldwide, publishing basic and advanced courses and webinars for professionals on deformity including surgical and non-surgical treatment of deformity. With the creation of NASSi we have a great opportunity to collaborate actively promoting courses and webinar and participating international meetings worldwide.

NASS: What projects are you excited about? How are they of benefit to NASS members and spine professionals?
Dr. Mhaidli: The development of virtual reality simulation courses in surgical training programs are especially exciting. Simulation can provide the opportunity to learn new techniques without putting patients at risk. The training is feasible and as effective as the standard cadaveric courses.

NASS: What will the future hold for this Section?
Dr. Mhaidli: The Section on Spinal Deformity will continue to promote the best evidence-based information on the management of spinal deformity to professionals, healthcare providers, and patients. We will also continue to support research in spinal deformity, thereby contributing to NASS’s reputation as a worldwide leader and reference in the field of spine.