These proceedings are from the Second Annual Musculoskeletal Education and Research Center Symposium, held August 6–7, 2015. The Symposium hosted several keynote speakers from Europe, including Dr. Hans-Joachim Wilke and Professor Wolfgang Rauschning. Dr. Wilke's work is highly innovative, and in his presentation, he emphasized the importance of clinicians and basic scientists working together to develop new technologies. Dr. Rauschning again utilized his novel cryotome technique and photographic imagery to display relevant surgical anatomy. Several biomechanical engineering scholars from the United States attended, including Dr. Vijay Goel and Dr. Lisa Ferrera, who highlighted the role of computational modeling and mechanical testing in establishing standards in the design and evaluation of spinal devices. Dr. Nadim Hallab, an immunologist of musculoskeletal tissue, reported on the host response to implants. Other esteemed Symposium faculty presented insightful information on neuroprotection and regeneration after spinal cord injury.
Clinical aspects of the Symposium focused primarily on deformity, especially in the sagittal plane. Excellent discussions of how to measure deformity and the role of pelvic alignment were presented. Theoretical analysis of techniques to correct deformity was undertaken to aid clinical decision making. Treatment options thoroughly reviewed included osteotomy and lateral approaches, and Symposium attendees discussed the role of biologics and the promise of navigation. Proximal junctional kyphosis was examined as the greatest unresolved problem after correction of spinal deformity, and the role of rigidity in fixation (rigid vs. semirigid) was debated.
Overall, this Symposium combined world-class basic scientists with highly experienced clinicians to create a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with complex diseases. Readers of these proceedings will benefit from the wealth of expertise and experience provided by the authors.