Dr. Andrew Chan Wins Best Clinical Research Paper at 2023 International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST)

March 30, 2023

Last week, Dr. Andrew Chan joined the world’s leading spinal surgery experts at the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques 2023. He received the prestigious Whitecloud Award for Best Clinical Research Paper from the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) in Dublin, Ireland. The Whitecloud Award (named after Dr. Thomas E. Whitecloud, co-founder of IMAST) is decided via the attendees’ vote for their favorite presentation and feedback considered by the IMAST Committee, which selects the final winner. 

Photo credit: Scoliosis Research Society

Research Findings

Dr. Chan’s research investigated the optimal surgical approach for lumbar spondylolisthesis. He and the QOD team worked over the last nine years to solve the question, “is the addition of fusion to decompression necessary for lumbar spondylolisthesis?” The award-winning paper, Decompression With or Without Fusion for Grade 1 Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: 60-Month Outcomes From the QOD, concluded, “In a long-term, 60-month comparison of outcomes, the addition of fusion to decompression was associated with superior outcomes for leg pain and satisfaction and nearly twice the odds of achieving ODI MCID. In addition, both procedures performed similarly for back pain, quality of life, and reoperation.”

Implications for Spine Care

"What does this mean for the future of patient care?" Dr. Chan stated. “Comparative durability is a key question in assessing two procedures. At a very long-term 60-month follow-up time point—in the largest prospective cohort to date—not only was the addition of fusion superior for disability and patient satisfaction, but also for leg pain. The leg pain superiority may surprise some surgeons, given that fusion is generally considered for patients with a larger component of back pain preoperatively. However, the leg pain difference suggests that fusing patients also minimizes the risk of restenosis after decompression alone.” 

A Bright Horizon

At Columbia University’s Department of Neurological Surgery, Dr. Chan and his team at Och Spine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center are most excited by the prospects of leveraging extensive, multicenter prospective spine registry data to better inform patient-specific surgical care. More than any other hospital in New York City, our teams treat children and adults with spine problems from the simple to the complex, using inpatient and outpatient procedures including advanced spinal imagery, specialized spine surgery and treatment without surgery. This recent award exemplifies our team’s mission to use actual quantifiable patient data to bring the world’s best spinal surgical care to all our patients. 

Please find a link to the paper’s abstract here.

Photo credit: Scoliosis Research Society