Columbia Orthopedics providers Michael Vitale, MD, MPH and Lawrence Lenke, MD were featured in Becker’s Spine Review for their ground-breaking work in spine surgery safety at the Second Annual Safety in Spine Surgery Summit, which had a standing room only audience of thought leaders in spine surgery.
Becker’s Spine Review’s article includes a comprehensive history of the Safety in Spine Surgery Summit from the Summit’s genesis to the complete details of this year’s event. In 2012, Dr. Vitale became invested in researching ways to prevent spine surgery complications. After publishing the definitive best practices to avoid SSI in spine deformity and a paper on optimizing responses after intraoperative neurological monitoring changes, he held the first Spine Summit in 2016.
"If we're just a little more thoughtful about slowing down the machine, optimizing better teams, and developing infrastructure to protect patients, we can avoid a lot of these things," said Dr. Vitale. "It's a miserable thing being a surgeon trying to do good, and being the executor of patient harm."
The Second Annual Safety in Spine Surgery Summit covered key spine safety issues such as infection, neurological injury, deformity, minimally invasive spine surgery, and implants and radiation. Dr. Lenke discussed standardizing procedures in deciding whether patients require spine surgery. Speakers at the event also included spine company CEOs.
"I think we need to really think deeply and thoughtfully for the right dose and mechanism for innovation,” said Dr. Vitale. “It's not only about the technology or technique, it's also about the soft skills — how we think about our job.”