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SAS9: MIS Hits Primetime

Executive Summary

The Ninth Annual Symposium for the International Society for the Advance of Spine Surgery (SAS9), held this spring in London, welcomed almost 1,700 attendees, double that of 2008, and most sessions provided a spirit of optimism despite the harsh economic environment. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) took center stage as applications widen and techniques improve, while facet joint replacement devices and materials to simplify revisions also drew crowds.

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While most Wall Street analysts predict that the current economic crisis will have little effect on the spine industry over the long haul, there are storm clouds on the horizon that should put spine product manufacturers on guard. With crackdowns by the Department of Justice tipping over into the spine arena and whistleblower lawsuits regarding surgeon/industry relationships in the news, along with several important bills before Congress designed to change how the business of spine surgery is done, current financial constraints may be only the tip of the iceberg in terms of things to come.

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