October 1995 Bulletin

OLC to beam program via satellite

Spine procedures to be seen in hospitals across U.S.

The Academy, which went on-line on Internet this summer, will take further advantage of modern communications techniques by producing its first satellite television broadcast from the Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC) in Rosemont, Ill. on Nov. 17.

Two live surgical demonstrations and lectures will beamed to audiences in hospitals with satellite reception capabilities throughout the country. The audience will be able to participate by calling in questions to the faculty and surgeons demonstrating the procedures. The program, which provides three hours of continuing medical education credit (Category 2), is expected to be viewed by orthopaedic surgeons and residents with an interest, focus, or practice emphasis in the treatment of the spine. The surgical demonstrations also may benefit physician assistants and operating room nurses.

The 2 1/2 hour satellite broadcast from 1 to 3:30 p.m. (Central Time) will be part of a day-long surgical skills course, "Contemporary Issues in Advanced Spinal Surgery," which features live faculty demonstrations and hands-on cadaveric surgery. The program focuses on modern techniques for decompression and stabilization of disorders of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

The satellite broadcast segment is focused on posterior cervical spine surgery.

"The communications technology will enable the Academy to fulfill its primary goal of delivering education for the fellows, who, in this instance, may not be able to attend the full course," said Edward N. Hanley Jr., MD, course chairman. "Offering this unique form of interactive education is just one of the ways to help us keep current in our field."

While it is recognized that teleconferencing will not replace surgical skills courses which involve development of hands-on skills, it is a low-cost method of sharing knowledge and providing exceptional visualization of surgical skills demonstration. The telecast is available to hospitals with satellite reception capability for $150.

Cervical fusion

The program will open at 1 p.m. with lectures on "Upper Cervical Spine Fusion" by Frank J. Eismont, MD; and "Lower Cervical Fusion/Instrumentation," by Paul A. Anderson, MD.

The first live surgical demonstration will be "Posterior Cervical Fusion/Instrumentation" by Dr. Anderson and Steven R. Garfin, MD.

"The techniques are, in general, simple, can be performed with minimal instrumentation, and are safe," said Dr. Anderson. "During this session the participants will learn the assessment of patients with cervical instabilities; the indications for posterior cervical fusions; and the technique, including interspinous wire fixation, facet wire, and lateral mass plates."

Dr. Garfin said, "posterior cervical fusions are performed for trauma, when there is posterior element instability, for instability created by tumors or infections, for progressive stabilization, and in the face of progressive kyphosis following laminectomies.

"The estimated number of posterior cervical fusions performed in the United States is difficult to assess, but it may be around 20,000 cases a year."

The demonstration will be followed by a question and answer period between audience participants and the program faculty via a telephone hook-up.

The program resumes with lectures on "Cervical Decompression-Posterior" by Harry N. Herkowitz, MD, cochairman of the program, and on Cervical Laminoforaminotomy-Posterior by Rick B. Delmarter, MD.

Q & A session

The second live surgical demonstration will be on cervical laminaplasty by Dr. Herkowitz and Dr. Eismont. This will be followed by a question and answer period for the audiences and the faculty.

"Cervical laminaplasty is a posterior decompression procedure indicated most commonly for multiple level cervical stenosis causing myelopathy or myeloradiculopathy," said Dr. Herkowitz. "The importance of laminaplasty versus laminectomy is that it preserves spinal stability while at the same time allows decompression of the spinal canal."

The OLC is a state-of-the-art surgical skills education center with a full complement of audio and video production equipment and has the capabilities of producing satellite broadcasts. The Academy rented time on a communications satellite and a specially-equipped "up-link" truck to produce the broadcast.

For further information about how to receive the program, contact Reid Stanton, electronic media manager, (800) 346-2267, extension 4102.

Registration of a broadcast receiving site is $150; a videotape of the broadcast is $175. To register, call the Academy's customer service department (800) 626-6726.

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