KARACHI SPINE: Pain and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Workshop

The Department of Neurosurgery, Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College, in collaboration with World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, World Spinal Column Society, Middle East Spine Society, Asian Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and Pakistan Society of Neurosurgeons, organized the three-day Pain and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery workshop from December 15 to 17, 2017.

The course was directed by Prof. Salman Sharif, Head of Department of Neurosurgery, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi (Pakistan); Ovidiu Palea, a renowned pain specialist (Romania), and Mehmet Zileli, Chair of the WFNS Spine Committee (Turkey). We were honored by the guest faculty: Onur Yaman, spine deformity specialist (Turkey), Nikolay Peev (Ireland) and Benedikt Burkhardt, a spine fellow from the University of Saarland (Germany). Prof. Tariq Salahuddin, former president, Pakistan Society of Neurosurgeons, encouraged us throughout the conference. Beside participants from all provinces of Pakistan, we were humbled to have participants from Kenya and Indonesia, enthusiastic to learn from the workshop.

The idea of the workshop was to train young and experienced Neurosurgeons in modern surgery. State of the art technique and cadaver dissection along with discussion sessions and live surgery enabled our neurosurgeons to learn this new cutting-edge technique.
The faculty conducted a series of live surgeries to demonstrate procedures like Awake Transforaminal Injection, Awake Endoscopic Discectomy, Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF), and a Lumbar Deformity Correction. The highlight of this workshop - awake endoscopic discectomy - was done for the first time in Liaquat National Hospital. Liaquat National Hospital has previously conducted many such educational activities.
The lecture series began December 15 with Endoscopic Surgery: the required anatomy and different surgery techniques. The interactive lectures formed a bridge between the techniques and outcomes from different parts of the world. The faculty also touched on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeries. The lectures were followed by hands-on Cadaver Workshops. The day ended with a Gala Dinner at an historic site in Karachi, the Frere Hall. This event was graced by the honorable Chief Minister of Sindh, Mr. Murad Ali Shah, as the Chief Guest - who appreciated the success of the academic activities and this workshop as a whole.

The second day lectures focused primarily on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, and how it compares to Open Spine Surgery. The hands-on Cadaver Workshops that followed were on different MIS surgery approaches and injections. Dinner was organized at the Marina Boat Club to enjoy the balmy weather in the open sea and the beautiful sites at the coast of Karachi.

The conference concluded on December 17 with live surgeries on the correction of cervical spine kyphoscoliosis, where the participants observed the surgeries as they were performed. The entire workshop was televised live online globally on Neurosurgical TV, and can be viewed later as well.
The dedicated team of Karachi Spine 2017 succeeded in training its participants in an interactive and hands-on approach, and accomplished its goal of providing state-of-the-art knowledge and skills to the young neurosurgeons. We thank the entire faculty for their time and dedication and look forward to more training opportunities for young neurosurgeons in future.

Imad Ullah, Secretary
Neurosurgery Department Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College


August 2022