Columbia's Spine Team Featured in Adult Spinal Disorders Symposium: Current Concepts and What the Future Holds

September 18, 2023

Last week, Columbia Neurosurgery, in partnership with the Department of Orthopedics, hosted Clinical Management of Adult Spinal Disorders: Current Concepts and What the Future Holds on Friday, September 15th, at the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center in New York City. This symposium provided physicians, physical therapists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals an update on the most current evaluation and treatment techniques for various spinal disorders. Directed by Evan Johnson, DPT, MS, OCS and Director of Och Spine Care Outpatient Physical Therapy and Dr. Ronald Lehman, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Director, Adult & Pediatric Spine Fellowship, our team hosted over two hundred professionals in a combined virtual and live audience and showcased both current and evolving operative and non-operative techniques with clinical findings to help facilitate optimal care and triage of patients with pain and disability arising from spinal pathology. This program also focused on educating physical therapists on the advantages and disadvantages of current and evolving diagnostic and treatment techniques for individuals with pain and disability arising from spinal pathology.

In the morning sessions, Dr. Justin Neira shared "The Natural History of Spinal Stenosis and Neurogenic Claudication," where he shared insights on degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis including ways to diagnose it, how it can affect patients' lives, and the various treatment options available." Loni Weinman, NP, later explored "Ordering and Interpreting Spinal Imaging," where she shared the role of the NP in evaluating spine patients in clinic to prescribe appropriate imaging and shared real cases and the rational for ordered studies.

Later in the day, Dr. Dean Chou presented "Surgical Procedures for Intervertebral Disc Herniation and Radiculopathy. Dr. Chou stated, "It was a great meeting put together by Evan Johnson! By having having both operative and non-operative collaborators, attendees were truly afforded complementary learning sessions."

Finally, Dr. Andrew Chan gave "Surgical Procedures for Spinal Stenosis and Neurogenic Claudication" where he discussed the indications for a spinal fusion for patients with lumbar stenosis. He stressed that many patients may need solely a decompression alone, but there are some key pathologies that benefit from the addition of fusion. He provided case illustrations demonstrating how minimally invasive techniques can be implemented to improve outcomes..  Throughout everyone’s lectures the audience was afforded case studies and clinical scenarios, including powerful videos and imaging to bring these concepts to life for real world application.

Our team at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center is honored to present our expertise and best practices to the medical community. We look forward to future dialogue as this field continues its rapid innovation and the ongoing discussions on many new technologies and techniques that will continue to evolve best practices across the many roles that serve our spine patients.


Congratulations to all the other esteemed speakers who presented during the conference. Please find a complete list of presenters and topics here.