Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Jack Zigler, MD is now serving as President of ISASS (International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery) for the 2019/2020 year. ISASS started in 2001, and is the only Society dedicated exclusively to the surgical care of the spine, and managed exclusively by spine surgeons. The Society blends the fields of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic spine surgery, enjoying active participation by some of the best scientists in the world.
As a society dedicated to the new technology of motion preservation in the spine, it embraced the new concept of artificial disc replacement instead of fusion for patients with segmental spinal disease. It has continued to provide as an educational forum for the advancement of newer techniques like minimally invasive spine surgery, robotics and navigation, and biologic interventions. ISASS continues to be a society highlighting innovation.
Photo: Past President Dr. Marek Szpalski with Dr. Jack Zigler
The mission of ISASS is simple in that it wants to provide patients access to the best surgical options when they need spine surgery. ISASS pursues this mission through a combination of research, technical improvement, and advocacy. Additionally, ISASS works with industry as partners to help accomplish these goals. “My objective during my Presidency is to re-energize ISASS and bring it back to its roots in providing a forum for new technologies to be discussed and debated by international surgeons and scientists. I also want to strengthen the relationship with Industry, so that we are both providing support to the common goal of improving our patients’ lives by improving their access to proven technologies” said Dr. Jack Zigler.
With membership in 78 countries, and over 3,000 members, ISASS publishes the International Journal of Spine Surgery, and provides advocacy for patients’ rights and access to surgical care. ISASS has published Position Papers on several areas of spinal surgery which have helped payors make policy decisions giving patient access to newer technologies like cervical and lumbar arthroplasty, surgical treatment of sacroiliac joint disease, and interlaminar stabilization following decompression for spinal stenosis.
ISASS has had over 4,200 scientific papers presented, demonstrating the members dedication to research and desire to share spine intelligence across the spine field. Industry plays an important role and has been responsive to the needs for an academic resource for physicians and patients.
Dr. Zigler tells us “I hope to continue the strong tradition of leadership for this important organization that was started by some of the key innovators and leaders in international spine surgery. I would like to position ISASS over the next few years so that it becomes the ‘go-to’ society for those working to improve the lives of patients with degenerative spine conditions by the best possible surgical treatment.”