MAY 15-18, 2024 | Bangkok, Thailand


Global Spine Congress 2024 will feature a range of pre-courses exploring some of the hottest topics and techniques for today’s spine care specialists. Please note that you need to be registered for the GSC to attend pre-courses. 

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Offsite (Chulalongkorn Hospital)

Chula Soft Cadaver Surgical Training Center
Floor 4 Padtayapatana Building
1873 Henri Dunant Rd
Khwaeng Pathum Wan
Khet Pathum Wan
Bangkok 10330

  • 7:00am–12:00pm - Basic Endoscopic Spine Surgery with hands-on cadaver workshop

  • 1:00pm–6:00pm - Advanced Endoscopic Spine Surgery with hands-on cadaver workshop 

  • 1:00–5:00pm - Introduction to Basic Spine Injections: Theory and Practice with hands-on cadaver workshop

Price: $450


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Onsite pre-courses (Centara Grand Convention Center)
Wednesday, May 15
Time: 13:00–17:00

  • Intraoperative Ultrasound: Applications in Spine and Spinal Cord Surgery from Basic Principles to Advanced Applications
  • Hosted by the AO Spine East Asia Council: Lessons Learned from Surgical Cases and Research Across East Asia

Price: $210 USD for members / $340 USD for non-members.

Please note that the price enables you to go back and forth between both onsite pre-courses.

OFFSITE: Basic Endoscopic Spine Surgery—Hands-on Cadaveric Workshop



Wednesday, May 15 from 07:00–12:00


Pre-course and hands-on workshop


Endoscopic spine surgery has increased in the past decade due to patient expectations and improved surgical instruments, techniques, and experience. The course is intended to help surgeons gain insights on incorporating and developing skill sets to adopt endoscopic spine surgery into their practice.

Participants of this course should acquire an understanding and knowledge of the following:

  • The technological and technical advancements in endoscopic surgery over the past decades

  • Equipment needs and logistic support to perform endoscopic spine surgery

  • Endoscopic anatomy and how to perform endoscopic decompression safely with transforaminal and interlaminar approaches

  • How to avoid complications and manage dural injuries and CSF leak from endoscopic spine surgery


John Liu
Vit Ko


07:00–07:05 Welcome and Introduction to the course
John Liu and Vit Ko

07:05–07:15 History of Spinal Endoscopy and technological advancement of modern endoscopy
Pramod Lokhande

07:15–07:25 Anatomical considerations for transforaminal endoscopic access
Ralph Mobbs

07:25–07:35 Anatomical considerations for interlaminar endoscopic access
Christoph Siepe

07:35–07:45 Equipment needs and setup consideration when starting an endoscopy practice
Dennis Hey

07:45–07:55 Step by step transforaminal endoscopic discectomy
Frank Hassel

07:55–08:05 Step by step interlaminar endoscopic discectomy
Withawin Kesornsak

08:05–08:15 Endoscopic decompression with lumbar stenosis
Vit Kotheeranurak

08:15–08:25 Anatomical and procedural considerations for endoscopy at L5–S1
Koichiro Ono

08:25–08:35 How to minimise radiation exposure in targeting with endoscopy?
Akarawit Asawasaksakul

08:35–08:45 How to avoid inadequate decompression with endoscopic decompression
Christoph Siepe

08:45–08:55 How to avoid dural injury and manage CSF leak with endoscopy?
Withawin Kesornsak

08:55–09:00 Questions and discussion
All Faculty

09:00–12:00 Hands on instruction in lab

OFFSITE: Advanced Endoscopic Spine Surgery—Hands-on Cadaveric Workshop



Wednesday, May 15 from 13:00–18:00


Pre-course and hands-on workshop

Endoscopic spine surgery has increased in the past decade due to patient expectations and improved surgical instruments, techniques, and experience. With growing expertise in endoscopic spine surgery, surgeons can perform advanced and complicated spine procedures through all endoscopic approaches. The advanced course is intended to help surgeons with experience in endoscopic spine surgery to gain knowledge and skills to incorporate advanced endoscopic procedures, including cervical decompressions, thoracic decompression, portal endoscopic procedures, and endoscopic spine fusions.

Participants of this course should acquire an understanding and knowledge of the following:

  • How to select appropriate patients and safely perform endoscopic cervical decompressions for cervical radiculopathy and cervical stenosis patients

  • Equipment needs and logistic support to perform biportal endoscopic spine surgery

  • Pre-operative and intraoperative consideration and preparation for endoscopic surgery to treat patients with thoracic disc and thoracic stenosis

  • The anatomical and procedural steps and consideration for endoscopic fusions

Kieran Alluri
Junseok Bae


13:00–13:05 Welcome and Introduction
Kieran Alluri and Junseok Bae

13:05–13:15 Posterior endoscopic cervical foraminotomy and discectomy
Christoph Siepe

13:15–13:25 Posterior endoscopic uniportal approach for foraminal stenosis: Patient selection and technical considerations
Ralph Mobbs

13:25–13:35 Thoracic endoscopic decompression: Anatomical and technical considerations
Withawin Kesornsak

13:35–13:45 Uniportal vs. biportal endoscopic spine surgery: What’s the difference and the pros and cons of those approaches?
Sang Hun Lee

13:45–13:55 Equipment and procedural considerations when adopting biportal endoscopic decompression
Woo Kuen Kwon

13:55–14:05 Full Endoscopic Fusion surgery: tips and tricks
Pramod Lokhande

14:05–14:15 Percutaneous endosopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: PETLIF
Koichiro Ono

14:15–14:20 Case video of endoscopic posterior cervical discectomy and foraminotomy
Verapan Kuansongtham

14:20–14:25 Case video of biportal endoscopic spine surgery
Ken Hsuan-Kan Chang

14:25–14:30 Questions and discussion

14:30–18:00 Hands-on training and instruction in lab

OFFSITE: Introduction to Basic Spine injections: Theory and Practice—Hands-on Cadaveric Workshop


Wednesday, May 15 from 13:00–17:00


Pre-course and hands-on workshop


Participants will learn and practice various procedures such as epidural steroid injections, sacroiliac injections and lumbar facet interventions, including intra-articular injection and medial branch blocks. Pre-hands on theory sessions will focus on indications, safety and patient selection. Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation will be discussed. Close interaction with faculty will allow ample time to share tips and for case discussions.

Course chairs (moderators):

Gene Tekmyster DO, MBA
Karsten Wiechert, MD


  • Jonathan Kirschner 
  • Naimish Baxi 

Upon completion of this session, participants should gain strategies to:

  • Describe the use of spinal injections in the diagnostic evaluation and treatment of back and radicular pain

  • Perform safe and effective interventional procedures for therapeutic effects treating radicular and facet pathology

  • Utilize optimal evidence and safety for the performance of Sacroiliac Joint intra-articular injections


13:00–13:10 ​​Welcome and Introduction ​​​
Gene Tekmyster DO, MBA

13:10–13:25  ​​Indications; Fluoroscopy Principles; Safety Considerations 
Gene Tekmyster DO, MBA

13:25–13:40  Epidural Injections and Diagnostic Spinal Nerve Blocks ​​​
KarstenWiechert, MD

13:40–13:55  Facet Joint Injections and Medial Branch Blocks​ 
Jonathan Kirschner

13:55–14:10  ​​Sacroiliac Injections 
Naimish Baxi

​​​14:10–14:20  ​​Panel Q&A

​​​14:20–14:30  Break

14:30–16:30  ​​Lab: Epidural/Spinal Nerve Blocks | ​​​Lumbar medial branch blocks | ​​​Sacroiliac Joint intra-articular injections

16:30–17:00​​  Open Lab

17:00 ​​ Course adjourns


ONSITE: Hosted by the AO Spine East Asia Council: Lessons Learned from Surgical Cases and Research Across East Asia

CME Accreditation

This Pre-Course  has been granted 4.0 European CME credits (ECMEC®s) by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME®). See this page for more information.


Wednesday, May 15 from 13:00-17:00


Kenny Kwan
Reuben Soh

Talks & Speakers

Session 1: Challenging cases we face in East Asia

Case 1 – My journey for starting minimally invasive spine surgery 
ChengLi Lin, Taiwan
Case 2 – Delayed presentations of the fracture spine
Tuan-Linh Nguyen, Vietnam
Case 3 – How do we deal with metastatic spinal tumours of the spine?
Fon-Yih Tsuang, Taiwan
Case 4 – What I do with a complex adult spinal deformity?
Worawat Limthongkul, Thailand

Session 2: AO Spine Research – what is hot in East Asia, and how to start a project?

  1. EA Research Officer – tips and pearls for designing a project and submitting a proposal for research grant 
    Reuben Soh, Singapore
  2. EA Research Grant Winner Machine Learning for Predictive Modeling in Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    I Gusti Lanang Ngurah Wiguna, Indonesia
  3. Research Innovation in Developing Countries: Limitless Ideas in Limited Resources 
    Yudha Mathan Sakti, Indonesia
  4. AO Spine EA Research Collaborative Effort
    Jason Cheung, Hong Kong

Session 3: Meet the Masters of East Asia – what have I learnt from cases in my career?

  1. How Chinese philosophy can help us avoid complications?
    Ken Cheung, Hong Kong
  2. Thoracic myelopathy
    Dr. Wattana Mahattanakul, Thailand
  3. Decision making in an unstable spine injury patient with neglected scoliosis
    Jose Manuel Ignacio, Philippines
  4. Adult spinal deformity
    Hee Kit Wong, Singapore

Session 4: A journey in spinal deformity management (with surgical videos)

  1. Is there still a role for non-operative management?
    Kenny Kwan, Hong Kong
  2. What can we learn and use from the early era of spinal deformity management today?
    Gabriel Liu, Singapore
  3. Techniques and controversies in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery
    Chris Chan, Malaysia
  4. Have we solved the conundrum of sagittal alignment goals in adult spinal deformity correction?
    Jacob Oh, Singapore


Spinal surgeons in East Asia face unique challenges since the available resources vary across different regions within the constituents of our Council.  However, these regions see one of the most rapid growth in young surgeons interested in pursuing spinal surgeries in their career.  This ½ day course provides an overview of what has been achieved by and what we can learn from the giants of East Asian spine surgeons.  It also provides practical approaches on how AO Spine leaders today deal with challenging cases in the operating room as well as continue to contribute to the current body of knowledge from their research.

Target audience

This ½ day course will draw audiences not only from the East Asian regions but is useful to any spinal surgeon to learn about challenging infections, trauma, degenerative and deformities in spine.  It is useful to young and mid-level spine surgeons as well as residents.

Learning objectives

  1. To understand and apply the surgical techniques and armamentarium available in dealing with everyday spinal conditions in East Asia
  2. To discover and foster interest in research with the help of AO Spine community and resources
  3. To improve the knowledge of pediatric and adult spinal deformity management through history and modern techniques

ONSITE: Pre-Course by AO Spine Knowledge Forum Spinal Cord Injury:
Intraoperative Ultrasound: Applications in Spine and Spinal Cord Surgery: From Basic Principles to Advanced Applications

CME Accreditation

This Pre-Course has been granted 4.0 European CME credits (ECMEC®s) by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME®). See this page for more information.


Wednesday, May 15 from 13:00-17:00


James Guest, MD, PHD.  University of Miami
Michael Fehlings, MD, PHD, University of Toronto


Brian Kwon, MD, PHD.  University of British Columbia
Christoph Hofstetter, MD, PHD, University of Washington
Jefferson Wilson, MD, PHD, University of Toronto


Substantial data support that earlier decompressive surgery (within 24 hours) after a traumatic spinal cord injury improves neurological recovery.  Intraoperatively there is no standard to confirm the achievement of adequate decompression.  More recent post-operative MRI data indicates that due to axial and longitudinal spinal cord swelling, it is not uncommon that initial efforts at spinal cord decompression can be insufficient. It is possible to use intraoperative ultrasound to define sufficient decompression at the time of the initial surgery with greater accuracy than simple visualization, providing a means to gauge the efficacy of decompression. There may also be a role for ultrasound as a surgical adjunct in austere environments where SCI occurs, but conventional imaging is absent. Moving beyond conventional imaging, ultrasound can inform pathophysiology by showing the injury volume, intact vasculature, blood flow, and cord motion.  While many surgeons generally appreciate how to use ultrasound, a recent AO spine global survey found that only a minority of surgeons have training in using the available settings to optimize the visualization depth and resolution and specifically to assess the margins of exposure.  This same survey revealed that most responding surgeons would highly value an instructional course on the use of ultrasound in spinal cord injury surgery. 

We thus propose to provide an instructional course in which the basic principles of operative ultrasound use would be presented and reinforced in a participatory ultrasound lab. Additionally, practical measurement methods of the spinal cord and CSF space will be presented. Such information can inform extending decompression and added procedures such as duraplasty.

The course will have a syllabus and will be recorded.      

Target audience:

This course is targeted at participants at all levels of spine surgery who would like to advance their knowledge in the use of intraoperative ultrasound to confirm the achievement of adequate decompression.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the key principles of ultrasound imaging.
  • Describe the most important parameters to obtain good quality images at surgery.
  • What considerations are most important to evaluate blood flow in the spinal cord.
  • Ability to use an ultrasound machine and probe(s).


Ultrasound for Spine Surgery – Introduction to the technology and how it works 
Michael Fehlings

Clinical utility and applications of ultrasound in spine surgery 
Jefferson Wilson

Ultrasound for assessing surgical decompression in acute SCI 
Brian Kwon

Ultrasound imaging for acute spinal cord injury – preclinical and clinical perspectives 
James Guest

Advanced ultrasound imaging and biomarkers of acute spinal cord injury 
Christoph Hofstetter

Practical session (and adjourn) 

Contact: AO Spine / AO Foundation

Clavadelerstrasse 8
7270 Davos

Contact: OIC

Viale della Giovine Italia, 17
50122 Florence