Log in

News Articles

  • 02/07/2021 17:02 | Anonymous

    Applications close on 25th July 2021 2nd August 2021

    The BASS executive trainee subcommittee are looking to appoint enthusiastic, engaged and forward thinking trainees of any level to our team. We will be looking on taking more of a role in education, research, quality improvement and most importantly improving the pathway for all future Spinal surgeons at a time when training has been so badly effected by the pandemic. We want to work as a close knit collaborative over the next 18 months to 2 years and in that time engage and close the community between Spinal surgery trainees and Consultants alike. We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your application.

    Apply here: https://forms.gle/v4CSVAzZn2tJiQSP7

    For further information on BASS and the work of the subcommittee, please visit www.spinesurgeons.ac.uk

  • 16/06/2021 16:39 | Anonymous

    Recording of a live webinar from evening of Thursday 10th June 2021: https://youtu.be/Hj9nH-wK53M

    Diversity in Spine - An evening with David Sellu: Did he save lives?

    David Sellu is a colorectal surgeon based in London, who was unfairly convicted of killing a patient in 2010, who died of complication of emergency bowel surgery. As a consequence, he spent almost 2 years in prison before he was released and able to launch an appeal that overturned his conviction. He has since written a book, describing his experiences and also his pathway into medicine, from very humble beginnings in Sierra Leone, Africa. His story is truly a fascinating one, and has a lesson as well as inspiration for all surgeons.

  • 16/06/2021 13:57 | Anonymous

    Dear BASS and BSS Members,

    The 2022 BOA Future Leaders Programme (FLP) has launched and applications are now open.
    Both the British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS) and the British Scoliosis Society (BSS) will be sponsoring one fellow each for the 2022 FLP. These two places are only open to members of BASS and BSS. Applications will close on 6th September 2021.

    To be eligible to take part in the programme, when the programme runs, you must be either:
    •    A senior trainee (ST8 or above)
    •    A newly appointed consultant (less than 3 years)
    •    An SAS Surgeon (FRCS Tr & Orth)
    •    A post-CCT Surgeon

    The successful candidate must also be a BOA member when the programme runs to be eligible to take part.
    BASS and BSS will have panels to select the successful candidate for these society-funded places. All applications will be anonymised by the BOA to reduce the potential for unconscious bias.

    Please download the Main BOA Future Leaders Programme application form, provide your CV and complete the Equality and Diversity Monitoring form. Send your completed application to policy@boa.ac.uk

    More information on the FLP and how to apply is on the BOA website at boa.ac.uk/flp

  • 20/05/2021 13:14 | Anonymous

    Are you completing a research project or data collection exercise you want to have a wider reach with your peers and colleagues?

    BASS have some options available for survey distributions:

     - BASS members can log in to the BASS forum (login required) and encourage others to complete the survey and debate on their own dedicated thread

    - Anyone can request a survey distribution to go BASS members by email via the UKSSB Newsletter. To access the request form and for more information, visit: https://www.ukssb.com/survey-distributions

  • 11/05/2021 19:54 | Anonymous

    This event has ended - to view the recording, please visit the BASS YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/Hj9nH-wK53M

    We would like to invite you to attend this unique talk taking place on Thursday 10th June 2021 at 8pm. This webinar is hosted by BASS and arranged by Hui-Ling Kerr, Diversity Rep on the BASS Executive.

    Registration is FREE and required at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UUDpq0KDT6KSJ5y0k36UrA

    David Sellu is a colorectal surgeon based in London, who was unfairly convicted of killing a patient in 2010, who died of complication of emergency bowel surgery. As a consequence, he spent almost 2 years in prison before he was released and able to launch an appeal that overturned his conviction. He has since written a book, describing his experiences and also his pathway into medicine, from very humble beginnings in Sierra Leone, Africa.
    His story is truly a fascinating one, and has a lesson as well as inspiration for all surgeons.
    David Sellu qualified in Medicine from Manchester and held his first post as Consultant Surgeon in Oman. There he helped shape the curriculum of the new medical school and also worked in a new tertiary hospital.
    On return to the UK in 1993, Sellu was employed as an academic, as a Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the then Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital, later incorporated into Imperial College. Afterwards, he transferred to the NHS as a Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon at Ealing Hospital. While at Ealing, he was granted practising privileges at the private Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow.
    A patient died under his care at the Clementine in 2010, an event that was to change his life. He was unfairly convicted of the patient’s manslaughter and given a two-and-a-half year prison sentence; he served half of this in some of the toughest prisons in the country.
    On his release his friends, family and he launched an appeal, which saw his conviction overturned in the Royal Courts of Justice. They uncovered evidence of racism and corporate greed, where the interest of the business prevailed over patient safety.
    Sellu has written a riveting account of these events in a memoir entitled ‘Did He Save Lives? A Surgeon’s Story.’

  • 07/04/2021 16:59 | Anonymous

    PDF Statement: 210407 - BSS-BASS Statement.pdf

    A recent publication of a paper in Bone and Joint Journal highlighted the “worse than death” quality of life scores for a number of patients in pain from arthritis of the hip and knee with lengthened wait times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.1

    As spine surgeons managing patients in severe pain due to arthritic conditions as well as severe pain and despair from nerve root compression, we very much echo the concerns from our arthroplasty colleagues about our patient groups.

    There are many patients now waiting many months for pain relieving interventions that have not been able to access elective lists due to the capacity issues related to the pandemic. These interventions usually come at the end of a conservative trial that has already failed, meaning that there is no other alternative for these patients whilst waiting. In addition, we have all seen patients progress to neurological compromise during the pandemic, requiring unplanned urgent or emergent surgery as a consequence. Unfortunately, on some occasions these can be irreversible changes. Children with spine deformity have also progressed in terms of their disease whilst waiting.

    As organisations with clinician members concerned about the welfare of our patients, we urge that NHS bodies and Trusts work with us to find sustainable solutions to restart elective work in a safe way that allows equity of access to “COVID green” pathways, critical care facilities and MRSA screened facilities for spine surgery patients. We recognise that care needs to be focussed on clinical priorities, but welcome reassurance that the FSSA prioritisation categories are honoured regardless of underlying surgical condition. We also urge that resources are used to improve the well-being of all patients with awful pain that are awaiting surgery as soon as possible.

    1 https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/full/10.1302/0301-620X.103B.BJJ-2021-0104.R1

  • 03/03/2021 11:13 | Anonymous

    Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Cymru in collaboration with British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS) and United Kingdom Spine Societies Board (UKSSB) would like to invite you to the

    “Fine Wine, Dine and Spine” Webinar Experience

    17th March 2021 @ 8pm

    Free Admission - register today!

    This webinar aims to offer you more than just another ‘virtual talk’. We have a wine and dine experience to begin with, and some fascinating talks from experts across the country who will be reflecting on their learning and experience of using video consultations in their clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Some of these innovative ways of working and lessons can be embedded in our future practice and this session will not only leave you with insights into future healthcare delivery but also some take home messages you could apply in your own work.

    Register today at: http://www.spinesurgeons.ac.uk/FineWineDineSpine

  • 14/01/2021 20:57 | Anonymous

    BASS Clinical Management Update - IONM_final agreed version.pdf

    Clinical Management Update - Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM)


    IONM can reduce the risks of permanent neurological deficit associated with spinal surgery. However, whilst its use in certain spinal surgical procedures is well established there is currently no consensus view on the use of IONM in degenerative cases and in resection of intradural spinal cord tumours.

    Indications for the use of IOM

    The indications for spinal cord monitoring set out below are based on the results of a recent BASS / SBNS survey of its members(1) and a literature review(2-13).

    Based on established and current practice, IONM is considered mandatory for the following procedures: correction of spinal deformity in the thoracic spine, DLIF/XLIF procedures and the reduction of a high-grade spondylolisthesis.

    According to the results of the BASS/SBNS membership survey and a literature review, the use of IONM should be strongly considered for anterior thoracic discectomy and intramedullary tumour resection but is not mandatory. When used, the risks of neurological injury need to be balanced against the primary surgical aims of decompression and tumour resection.

    According to the results of the BASS/SBNS survey and a literature review, the use of IONM is neither mandatory nor commonplace for the following procedures: cervical decompression for myelopathy, posterior thoracic decompression for myelopathy and resection of intradural extramedullary tumours.

    The local availability of neurophysiological monitoring services, regional spinal network practices and agreements, and individual case factors should guide decision making for the use of IONM for all non-mandatory procedures.

    Planning Intraoperative Neuromonitoring

    No form of intraoperative monitoring is 100% specific or sensitive for detecting all injuries to the spinal cord or peripheral nerves but when well performed, relevant multimodal intraoperative neuromonitoring (MIONM) can approach this.

    Clinical judgement must always be used to assess the risks associated with specific stages or manoeuvres during an operation.

    Discussion of any planned IONM with the patient during the consenting process is advisable.

    Preoperative planning of IONM techniques to be employed is critical to ensure relevant information can be obtained and good communication is critical to ensuring the information is delivered in a timely manner.

    Confirm that the anaesthetist is aware that multimodal IONM is to be used to ensure appropriate anaesthetic and relaxant employed.

    Where appropriate and safe, perform and document pre-positioning (and sometimes pre-intubation) baseline recordings in cases where there is a high risk associated with positioning. e.g. prone positioning for dislocation/severe myelopathy.

    Establish baseline recording again prior to commencing surgery: normally continuing monitoring until closure.

    Keep detailed records of any adverse monitoring events and remedial steps taken.

    Neuromonitoring Modalities

    Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) are normally best used in conjunction with free running electromyography (EMG) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs).

    Consider D-wave utilisation to provide additional monitoring of corticospinal tracts in intradural procedures, particularly intramedullary tumour cases.

    Consider spinal mapping procedures to localise the midline where this is distorted (eg in intramedullary tumour surgery).

    Consider direct nerve stimulation (DNS) to localise/identify roots where required.

    Bilateral recording and recording above and below the operative level can be utilised to help locate problems e.g. to discriminate between artefactual, physiological (e.g. anaesthetic induced) and pathological changes in MEP/EP and sometimes D-wave recordings.

    Management of reduction/loss MEP/SSEP prior to manipulation of neural tissue or correction of deformity

    • Ensure that deterioration is not artefactual. Check lead connections. Ensure that muscle relaxants have not been administered.
    • Consider correcting hypotension and hypothermia if present.
    • Consider that deterioration could be positioning related. Consider returning patient to supine position.
    • Consider “wake up test” to identify motor responses.

    Management of reduction/loss of MEP/SSEP during direct manipulation of the spinal cord

    • Discontinue manipulation of the cord for 5-15 mins and assess for improvement.
    • Consider correcting hypotension or hypothermia if present.
    • Consider dexamethasone bolus.
    • If no improvement occurs with these manoeuvres then the surgeon will need to decide whether to proceed with surgery accepting the likelihood of significant post-operative deficit or to discontinue surgery. This decision will be individualised and take into account the patient’s underlying condition, rate of pre-surgical clinical deterioration, and likely prognosis.

    Management of reduction/loss of MEP/SSEP during deformity correction surgery

    • Ensure that deterioration is not artefactual. Check lead connections. Ensure that muscle relaxants have not been administered.
    • Consider correcting any hypotension or hypothermia if present.
    • Consider lightening the plane of anaesthesia. The use of the Bispectral Index and Spectral Edge Frequency can be helpful in determining the depth of anaesthesia.
    • If no improvement occurs with these manoeuvres, then release all corrective measures and check screw positions with imaging.
    • Wait to see if there is a return of normal MEP / SSEP.
    • Consider “wake-up test” to identify motor responses.
    • Consider discussion with colleague.


    Dr Alan Forster, F.R.C.P., Consultant Clinical Neurophysiologist (for neurophysiology advice)

    Mr Paul Brewer, Spinal Surgery ST6 (for literature review)


    1. A survey of surgeons’ use of intra-operative neurophysiological monitoring. BASS/SBNS. May 2019 (to be presented at Britspine 2021).

    2. Value of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring to reduce neurological complications in patients undergoing anterior cervical spine procedures for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Parthasarathy D. Thirumala. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 25 (2016) 27–35.

    3. Intraoperative Neuromonitoring for Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery. What Is the Evidence? Remi M. Ajiboye, MD, et al. SPINE Volume 42, Number 6, pp 385–393.

    4. Investigating the utility of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: analysis of over 140,000 cases from the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample data set. Jetan H. Badhiwala, MD, et al. J Neurosurg Spine 31:76–86, 2019.

    5. Predictive value of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring during cervical spine surgery: a prospective analysis of 1055 consecutive patients. Michael O’Kelleher, et al. J Neurosurg Spine 8:215–221, 2008.

    6. Surgery for Giant Calcified Herniated Thoracic Discs: A Systematic Review. Min Gong, et al. World Neurosurg. (2018) 118:109-117.

    7. Anterior Transthoracic Surgery with Motor Evoked Potential Monitoring for High-Risk Thoracic Disc Herniations: Technique and Results. Erwin Cornips, et al. World Neurosurg. (2017) 105:441-455.

    8. Comparison of intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring outcomes between cervical and thoracic spine surgery. Shujie Wang, et al. Eur Spine J (2017) 26:2404–2409.

    9. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring for intradural extramedullary spinal tumors: predictive value and relevance of D-wave amplitude on surgical outcome during a 10-year experience. Reza Ghadirpour, et al. J Neurosurg Spine 30:259–267, 2019.

    10. Spinal intradural extramedullary tumors: the value of intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring on surgical outcome. Ran Harel, et al. Neurosurg Rev (2017) 40:613–619.

    11. Intraoperative Neuromonitoring in Patients with Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumor: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Case Series. Koen Rijs, et al. World Neurosurg. (2019) 125:498-510.

    12. Diagnostic Utility of Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring for Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumors. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Tej D. Azad, et al. Clin Spine Surg 2018;31:112–119).

    13. Neuromonitoring for Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery. Terence Verla, et al. World Neurosurg. (2016) 95:108-116.

  • 06/11/2020 12:49 | Anonymous

    The organising committee of the Spinal TIG, invites centres not already registered to apply for the opportunity to host a spinal TIG fellow. This programme is an exciting curriculum-based training fellowship, combining neurosurgical and orthopaedic spinal surgical training for pre CCT fellows. Fellows are appointed by a competitive application and interview process centrally and once selected choose which centre to go to from the list of suitable centres. At the moment we have 10 centres in the programme: Leeds, Salford/Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Sheffield, Birmingham, Oxford, Cardiff, Preston, Stoke on Trent.

    This year we have three STIG fellows – Alex Goubran, Alexander Durst and Sheweidin Aziz undertaking fellowships in Cardiff, Sheffield and Birmingham.

    For 2021-22, we have funding in England for up-to three fellows, commencing in the summer of 2021 running for a one- year period. Under GMC regulations, the fellowships are pre CCT at this time, but will change to post CCT in due course. All fellowships are administered by the Severn Deanery and under the auspices of the JCST. We do not have funding at this time for centres outside England, and any centres applying from the rest of the UK and Ireland will be required to provide their own funding for fellows.

    Applications require the completion of a Hospital Application Form (HAF) which sets out to establish the joint approach of training in the centre and the support of the local post graduate dean for the fellowship.

    For application forms, or any queries, please contact Mr Niall Eames (Chair of the Spinal TIG Committee) via interface@jcst.org

    Thank you for supporting this exciting combined training between neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery in the exacting discipline of spinal surgery.

    The Spinal TIG Committee - October 2021

  • 23/10/2020 12:16 | Anonymous

    Preliminary announcement

    From - The Spinal Training Interface Group (STIG) Committee

    We are delighted to announce that at least two STIG fellowships will soon be advertised to commence in summer 2021. These will be for PRE CCT trainees from both neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery. Please note that the programme is changing to a post CCT fellowship in due course, but this round of appointments will be for PRE CCT trainees in 2021.

    The STIG fellowship is designed to allow combined curriculum-based training between neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery in the discipline of spinal surgery. Trainees will be appointed by competitive interview and will then select where they wish to undertake their fellowship from the list of suitable centres, all of which are leading spinal centres in the UK and Ireland, based around the spinal curriculum. The specialised training centres are listed on the JCST web site. These training placements provide joint training between Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic spinal surgery in established spinal centres. The fellowships will be undertaken as a period of Out of Programme Experience OOP(E).

    This is the second year of these spinal TIG fellowships. Currently three STIGs are in post. We are delighted to be able to build on the success of this program and we will be advertising in the near future with interviews anticipated early in 2021 and posts commencing in summer 2021.

    Further information is available in the JCST website or email myself at NiallEames@belfasttrust.hscni.net

    Niall Eames

    Chair Spinal TIG Committee


British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS), RCSEng, 38-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn, London, WC2A 3PE

Registered Charity - No.1150365

Company Registration - No.08156883

Copyright © 2019 - British Association of Spine Surgeons
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software