The Global Spine Congress 2021 will feature a range of pre-courses that will explore some of the hottest topics and techniques for today’s spine care specialists. Please note that for some sessions you do not need to be registered for the GSC. 

AO PEER @ GSC Online Blended Course— Principles of Clinical Research 
Supported by AO Spine


October: 1 month online self-directed learning
November 2, 14:00-18:00 Live online event
November 3, 14:00-18:00 Live online event

Registration GSC registration not required
Regular price 224 EUR
AO Member price 160 EUR


Participants will learn about the importance of research and evidence-based medicine (EBM), the relevant ethical considerations and guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) with a focus on the formulation of a clinical research question.

In addition to practicing some of the skills related to critical literature review, this course offers support in working with a statistician, how to publish and navigating the AO Program for Education and Excellence in Research (AO PEER) to help make their research project a success.

In this blended program, the basic principles will be taught in an online setting over a 1-month period, followed by a 2 days synchronous online event with interactive workshops and discussions.

Module 1: Why is research important?
Module 2: Does your study follow the ethical guidelines?
Module 3: Step-by-step to your research question
Module 4: Literature—reading between the lines
Module 5: How to navigate your research environment
Module 6: Give your study statistical power
Module 7: Getting ready to publish
Module 8: Make your research a success

See full program details here.

Preliminary speakers

Asdrubal Falavigna
Matthew Allen
Dino Samartzis
Sara Hassouna Elsayed
María Eugenia Pireira
Anita Hasler
Mohammad El-Sharkawi
Marcelo Valacco
Vincenzo Giordano
Atiq Uz Zaman

Learning objectives

At the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of doing research and the link to evidence-based medicine
  • Apply the basic principles of literature search and critical appraisal
  • Follow GCP guidelines and adhere to ethical requirements, eg, informed consent
  • Identify a clinical problem, formulate a clinical research question, and select the study design
  • Collaborate with a statistician to perform sample size calculation and basic statistical analyses
  • Describe the principles of medical writing
  • Utilize available research environment, resources, and tools

Target Audience

This course is mainly aimed at fully qualified medical specialists, and also at any other individuals who want to learn or improve the skills in conducting clinical research and publishing results and also at those with a general interest in research and documentation of clinical cases.


Next generation spinal intervention training:
hands-on in VR and simulator


November 3

04:00-11:00 (Eastern Standard Time: -6 hours from Paris)
10:00-17:00 (Central European Standard Time)
16:00-23:00 (Chinese Standard Time: +6 hours from Paris)


Onsite 160 EUR
Online 80 EUR (FREE for virtual fee registered GSC participants)


This one-day intensive workshop is intended to advance the existing skills of spine practitioners from a multi-specialty perspective. Distinguished faculty combines didactic instruction and state-of-the art virtual reality and simulation training with topics related to the clinical evaluation of complex pain and functional impairment.

Advanced management options including the role of epidural injections, disc access, Radiofrequency Ablation, and diagnostic procedures. Focus will be in developing appropriate skills using the latest technology to mimic real life injection procedures. Spinal anatomy, patient selection, and high yield clinical pearls are covered in depth.

Time will be provided for open discussions with attendees and faculty on important topics such as indications, risks, literature controversies in peer-review process, and pitfalls. Additionally, faculty will discuss outcome monitoring as part of the skill-set in treating complex pain disorders and their associated functional impairments and disability.

Preliminary speakers

Karsten Wiechert
Gene Tekmyster
Danny Goel
Daniel Seifert
Simon Weidert

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will gain strategies to:

  • Explain the role of advanced pain procedures in the evaluation and treatment of spine pain
  • Comprehend the potential risks and complications of advanced spinal interventions to patients
  • Gain technical skills and knowledge in performing therapeutic and diagnostic spine procedures
  • Understand the role of radiofrequency denervation in treating lumbar facet pain including appropriate diagnostic injection skills and techniques


10:00 Welcome and introduction  Karsten Wiechert
10:15 Diagnostic spine injections for surgical planning  Gene Tekmyster
10:30 Therapeutic spine injections  Karsten Wiechert
10:45 Risks, Complications and Radiation Safety  Gene Tekmyster
11:00 Introduction to VR as a training tool  Danny Goel
11:15 The role of surgical simulators in surgical training Simon Weidert
11:30  Coffee break  

Hands-on injection training in VR environment and on the surgical simulators

  • Lumbar facet joints, medial branch blocks, radio frequency ablation
  • Lumbar epidural injections: Interlaminar, transforaminal
  • SI joint injections
  • Cervical facet joints, periradicular, radio frequency ablation
  • Lumbar disc access
16:45  Summary and wrap-up  



Sports and Spine symposium—A comprehensive approach to integrating successful spine care into sports medicine


November 3

07:00-11:00 (Eastern Standard Time: -6 hours from Paris)
13:00-17:00 (Central European Standard Time)
19:00-23:00 (Chinese Standard Time: +6 hours from Paris)

Registration Onsite 100 EUR
Online 80 EUR (FREE for virtual fee registered GSC participants)

Preliminary speakers

Jens Chapman
Michael Kanas
Jeff Wang
Richard Adler
Michael Fehlings
Ronen Blecher
Bruce Twaddle
Wellington Hsu
Patrick Kiely
Nelson Neto
Rafael Sugino

Preliminary schedule

Session 1: Neurologic Injury




Introduction and Welcome: Relationship of sports and spine

Jeff Wang



C0 Injuries: How to make a difference in
Traumatic Brain Injuries

Richard Adler



Case presentation: Cord concussion and return to play

Jens Chapman



Spinal Cord Concussions: an Evidence based Review

Michael Fehlings







Spinal cord impact and ALS: is there a correlation?

Ronen Blecher





Session 2: Optimizing Return to Play




Stress fractures – why are they so hard to treat?

Bruce Twaddle



Return to Play for collision and contact sport athletes

Wellington Hsu



Return to play with scoliosis

Patrick Kiely









Session 2: Interesting Case Reviews




Cervical HNP

Rafael Sugino




Nelson Neto



Limbus fracture

Michael Kanas



Cervical spinal stenosis








NASSi Pre-courses

NASSi transparent

NASSi at GSC Pre-course on Surgical Simulation  


November 3, 08:30-11:00

Registration GSC registration is required
Price 130 EUR


The WHO is forecasting a global shortage of up to 40 million healthcare workers by 2030! Even with a simple extrapolation we are probably talking of a deficit of 100,000 to 150,000 spine surgeons. The challenge will be on a number of fronts (1) how to recruit and train so many spine surgeons, and (2) how to expedite surgeons reaching proficiency in the face of increasing complexity and ever-expanding technologies.

Clearly, there is need for a paradigm change in the now out dated “see one, do one, teach one” training model, especially as “practicing on your patients” will no longer be accepted by patients and payers.

Where there is a problem, there is equally an opportunity – simulation training. Participants in this “exploratory” course will have the chance to hear first-hand about the future vision for training surgeons. Will there be a time, similar to pilots, when a surgeon must complete X hours on a simulator to keep their credentials? Critically, as a participant understanding the opportunity will help you to consider how to position yourself to exploit the future, albeit as faculty, administrator or an actual entrepreneur.

Following a short series of didactic lectures, you will actually get hands-on experience of two ground breaking Virtual Reality simulation technologies – immersive-VR (Precision OS, Vancouver Canada), non-immersive VR (Medability, Munich, Germany).

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Recognize the future roles that simulation will play in surgeon education.

2. Discuss the different types of simulators and how they will improve translating training into practice.

3. Differentiate between the approaches of immersive and non-immersive Virtual Reality simulators.


 Course Chair and Moderator: Hani Mhaidli

08:30 Introduction Patrick C. Hsieh
08.35   Need for a change in surgeon training Hani Mhaidli
08.45 Advantages of simulation in surgeon training Patrick C. Hsieh
08:55 Designing objective performance metrics in simulation Patrick C. Hsieh
09.05 Translating simulation training into clinical practice Jeffrey C. Wang
09.15 Future trends in simulation in surgeon training Norman Chutkan
09:25 Discussion All Faculty
09:30 Break  
09:45 Applying simulation in Practical Skills Training – 75 mins Practical Session



NASSi transparent

NASSi at GSC Pre-course on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS)   


November 3, 13:00-16:30

Registration GSC registration is required
Price 130 EUR


The course will highlight and discuss the development and trends of minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) over the recent years. While there is increased adoption of MIS worldwide for the treatment of spinal disorders over the last two decades, it remains relatively underutilized. In addition, there are perceptions that MIS is superior to open traditional techniques among many surgeons. Still, limitations such as cost, learning curve, and lack of level 1 data have precluded wide adoptions by spine surgeons around the world. In this course, renowned international experts will discuss contemporary issues related to MIS, such as indications, limitations, technical considerations, and clinical outcomes. In addition, they will discuss ongoing developments to advance the capability and outcomes of MIS. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Discuss the key activities to incorporate MIS to into clinical practice. 

2. Recognize the indications, opportunities and limitations of MIS. 

3. Describe the integration of neuromonitoring, navigation/robotics, and advanced technology. 


 Course Chair and Moderator: John C. Liu

13:00 Introduction Edward Dohring
13:05   Tubular MIS in degenerative spine disease John C. Liu
13:20 Percutaneous instrumentation and cement augmentation: Where and how to use it based on data and personal experience? Eeric Truumees
13:35 Lateral MIS lumbar interbody fusion: How to minimize neurological complications, improve fusion, and maximize sagittal realignment? Raymond Hah
13.50 Endoscopic spine surgery in degenerative spine disease: Where are we now and is this the future for MIS? Ralf Wagner
14.05 Discussion All Faculty
14:20 Break  
14.45 MIS vs. Open treatment of Adult Spinal Deformity: Proper indication and patient selection Hani Mhaidli
15:00 Complication avoidance and management in MIS Jeffrey C. Wang
15:10 How to reduce learning curve and adopt MIS techniques in clinical practice? Patrick C. Hsieh
15:20 Artificial Intelligence and Patient-specific Planning for MIS Zorica Buser
15:30 Video Demo Tubular Decompression and MIS-TLIF John C. Liu
15:45 Video Demo Endoscopic Decompression Ralf Wagner
16:00 Discussion All Faculty
16:30 Wrap up John C. Liu



Complimentary registration is available to Residents & Fellows for NASSi pre-courses.  GSC registration is required.  Please email if you would like to register for a NASSi pre-course.  Limited seats available.