The Back Bulletin
September, 2019

Dr. Wong Visits Jakarta for

International Spine Meeting

NASS (North American Spine Society) once again collaborated with the International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spine Surgery (ISMISS), the Indonesian Spine Society (ISS) and the 1st Congress of the Indonesian Orthopaedic Spine Society (IOSS) for a combined meeting in Jakarta Indonesia August 23-25, 2019.
Conference Chairman, and long-time NASS International member, Dr. Bambang Darwano from Indonesia assembled a diverse, worldwide faculty to present at the meeting and instruct at the hands-on cadaver lab. Faculty members represented countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Ukraine, Spain, Greece, Palestine, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Canada and the United States.
NASS Past Presidents JJ Abitbol and David Wong participated in the meeting as well as NASS International Members Dr. Hani Mhaidli from Spain and Dr. Alaaeldin Azmi Ibrahim Ahmed from Palestine. 
“The Present and Future of Spine Surgery” was the theme of the meeting. Session topics ran the gamut from ethics, patient safety and conservative treatment of adult deformity to the latest techniques of minimally invasive endoscopic surgery, instrumentation of the spine and deformity correction.
The hands-on cadaver lab gave 30 learners the opportunity to translate some of the theoretical and descriptive techniques from the lecture portion of the meeting into a hands-on experience. Tips for accomplishing precision surgery as well as avoiding and if necessary, dealing with potential complications, was emphasized by the faculty.
Faculty dinners provided an opportunity for networking and the exchange of ideas among those coming together to teach the course and the hands-on cadaver lab. 
The association of NASS with the International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spine Surgery (ISMISS), the Indonesian Spine Society (ISS) and the 1st Congress of the Indonesian Orthopaedic Spine Society (IOSS) represents a fulfillment of NASS’s commitment to enhancing global spine care.

Denver Spine Surgeons Settles in at

New Office Location

Don't forget! We are enjoying our new office just southeast of our old location. We are now located exclusively at:
145 Inverness Drive East, suite 100 
Englewood, CO 80112
Our phone number, email addresses and website address remain the same. 
Come visit us!

 Patient Spotlight: Mark Stiebeler

Mark has his passions – his family, his work (he has been in the hotel business for 43 years), and his fitness. Mark has always been active, but not for weight loss reasons - he loves the outdoors, the mental and physical release of exercise, and says “it puts me in a place I want to be.” Colorado is the perfect place for Mark's favorites: skiing and trail running.
In 2017 Mark started experiencing debilitating pain in his glute about 20 minutes after completing a trail run. He was surprised when he kept experiencing the same pain after his runs. About 20 minutes after he stopped skiing one day, he had the pain again, but this time it dropped him to the floor. Thinking it was his hip, he went to an orthopedist who took an MRI. The orthopedist told him he had “a LOT going on in your spine,” and referred him to Dr. Ghiselli. 
Dr. Ghiselli told the 60-year-old he “looked better on the outside than on the inside.” His MRI showed degeneration at L5-S1. After learning about Mark’s passion for exercise, Dr. Ghiselli started on a minimally invasive path to get him back on his beloved trails. 
First Mark had an injection in his disc, this helped for about two months and got Mark through a trip to New Zealand, but eventually wore off and the pain was back. Next, Dr. Ghiselli tried a microdiscectomy surgery to decompress the nerves – but a new MRI after surgery showed the disc had bulged back, the odds of which were only 5%. A second microdiscectomy surgery didn’t work either. By now the pain was so bad Mark couldn’t work, he couldn’t walk 100 yards, and he certainly couldn’t exercise
So Dr. Ghiselli discussed an L5-S1 fusion surgery, the same surgery Tiger Woods had, with Mark. A fusion surgery is always the last resort and has a longer recovery time than other spinal surgeries, but in Mark’s case, his only option. Mark awoke after his fusion surgery on June 25, 2018 without pain. He felt “very cared for” by Dr. Ghiselli and his entire team. He was so determined to get back to his active lifestyle, he started walking around the hospital immediately and went home the next morning. After waiting 90 days while his vertebrae were fusing, Mark was able to return to trail running and skiing – pain free.
In July of 2018 Mark and his son were supposed to run the Vail Hill Climb together – 7.5 miles uphill in the beautiful Vail mountains – but Mark was unable to do it because of his back. In July of 2019, less than a year after his spinal fusion, Mark and his son completed the Vail Hill Climb together.
Mark says, “Never once did I think: I’m 63, maybe I shouldn’t ski or trail run anymore. I explained this to Dr. Ghiselli, he understood, and helped me get there.”

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