During the 2nd to the 4th of October, The Arena and Convention centre in Liverpool has played host to the annual International Medical Congress of EuroSpine – the spine society of Europe.
This meeting is EuroSpine’s biggest event and it was the first time that the meeting was held in the UK so it was an honour that they chose to host the event in Liverpool.

Spinal injuries can affect anyone at any time. In the UK and Ireland around 1000 people develop a spinal cord injury yearly and every 8 hours someone is paralysed in the UK.
There are currently no effective treatments for spinal cord injuries but a lot of research is being undergone into ensuring that a spinal cord injury doesn’t mean that a person will be paralysed forever.

Due to the potential severity of spinal cord injuries it is important to have a society who aims to increase research and education into spinal injuries. EuroSpine was founded in 1998 following the merging of many different societies and it has since been growing widely over the past 15 years. Although they are known as the European Spine Society, non EU countries are also involved including countries in Asia, Australia and Africa.  The society is becoming widespread.

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Dr Ferran Pellisé, president of EuroSpine (pictured 3rd from the right) and committee members at the press conference.

EuroSpine have 4 main priorities:

  1. Membership – to expand their membership to a wide range of ages, disciplines and countries and to represent their current members efficiently
  2. Education – through live educational events, fellowships, master classes, as well as potentially awarding members that undertake the educational program with a Surgical Spine Certification
  3. Research – 350 EuroSpine projects have been funded over the past 3 years. This has been a success for EuroSpine but they still have plans to expand on research activities and run regular research educational events.
  4. Guidance – providing guidance for patients as well as physicians.

Around 3000 delegates were present at the ACC in Liverpool for this event. Neurosurgeons, researchers, physicians as well as engineers and biologists were all present at the event to share and find out more about the latest research findings.

Prior to the meeting, academic and medical abstracts are submitted to EuroSpine. 800 abstracts were submitted from a wide range of European and International sources – 36% of the papers received were from Non EU countries.. The submissions were reviewed and the best papers were open for floor discussions. This encourages debates and interactions during the event. As well as debates, the annual meeting consists of oral/poster presentations and guest speakers.

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During the past 3 years EuroSpine have funded 350 research projects, invested €400K in spine education in Europe as well as invested €250K in spinal disease research.
It is safe to say that for a fairly new society EuroSpine have achieved many key goals.

In terms of future plans, EuroSpine are continually addressing their 4 main goals, increasing their political impacts for spine issues as well as considering the creation of spinal surgery becoming a subspecialty.

More information about EuroSpine can be found here: http://www.eurospine.org/