2018 has been a thrilling year for APSS. We started off with our first Operative Course of the year at the National Institute of Traumatology & Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Dhaka, Bangladesh in March 2018. This course was collaboratively hosted by the APSS, the Bangladesh Spine Society and the Bangladesh Orthopedic Association. With nearly 80 participants and spine experts coming from six different countries, debates and interactions were rich and fruitful. The hands-on saw bone workshop was so successful that it has been suggested to lengthen its duration. True to APSS’ goal to sharing knowledge and good spine surgical practice, its network is successfully expanding in central Asia, with a course taking place for the first time in Astana, Kazakhstan as part of our Outreach Programme. To wrap up the year, a second Operative Course was held in Davao, Philippines in December 2018. APSS also hosted a symposium at the 2018 Global Spine Congress in Singapore, an event drawing participant from all over the world.
The APSS first Annual Meeting in Taiwan from June 7 to 9 registered an attendance of 297 delegates from 24 countries. This congress organised by the APSS under the aegis of Taiwan Spine Society and Taiwan Orthopaedic Association marked the inauguration of the APSS annual meeting. This conference brought together some of the distinguished experts in the spine surgery across Asia as well as young and promising clinicians, researchers, and surgeons to exchange ideas on the latest updates and advancement of the global spine care education, research and innovation. We would like to extend our gratitude to Professor Po-Quang Chen, Honorary Chairman and Professor Ing-Ho Chen, Congress Chairman for their help and their welcome.
The APSS will be welcoming an exciting year of 2019 as the 12th Combined Congress of APSS and APPOS will be held in Incheon, Korea in April 2019.
Committed to our vision of being an educational and scientific forum for the advancement of knowledge in the field of spine surgery, the APSS also holds bi-annual operative courses in many developing cities in Asia Pacific. These courses are successful collaborations of the competent national hosts and enthusiastic board members of APSS. It is a platform for young surgeons to enhance principal and advanced knowledge of spinal disorders and to explore the latest surgical techniques through live spine surgeries, lectures, workshops and discussions. Future operative course in March 2019 will be held in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and in September 2019, in Xi’An, China. Knowing that one can reap from these courses, I anticipate participation from many surgeons from the hosting chapters as well as other countries around the region.
APSS will also organise Basic Spine Course in the Hong Kong University, Hong Kong and Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, in the second quarter of the year. Besides scientific meeting and spine courses, APSS pioneered the travelling and clinical fellowship programmes and has been consistent in offering many fellows the unique opportunity to be attached to spine centres of excellence in the region. Fellows selected by a committee will be sent to be trained by the dedicated and highly skilled spine experts in Asia Pacific. We especially welcome orthopaedic and spine surgeons who are adaptable to different cultures from developed and developing nations. These programmes also encompass APSS DePuy Synthes Clinical and Travelling Fellowships (3 weeks); APSS Medtronic Fellowship, a midterm (3 months fellowship), APSS-SICOT Spine Fellowship, an exchange fellowship to SICOT spine centres of excellence in Europe (3 weeks) and APSS-Ganga Hospital Fellowship, a fellowship at Ganga Hospital, India (3 weeks).
The application for APSS Medtronic and Ganga Fellowships is still open. We hope that you will share the news with fellow spine colleagues.
The Spine Section of APOA changed its name to Asia Pacific Spine Society (APSS) in 2012 and is now an established spine society in the Asia Pacific region with over 500 members and its membership is increasing rapidly. As we grow, we will continue to uphold our mission to advance the science, art and practice of spine surgery and promulgate the maintenance of professional standards in order to provide the best professional care to patients with spinal problems in the Asia Pacific. This will require a concerted awareness and effort from both developed and developing countries in the region, and I hope that all activities that the APSS is and will be conducting build momentum towards fulfilling our mission.
To conclude, I would like to warmly welcome all of you, young and experienced spine surgeons, to join us in working together for the development of spine surgery in the Asia Pacific region.
K S Sivananthan
President of APSS (2017-2019)