An Expert in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Dr. Kern Singh, founder and president of MISSG, made a tremendous and noteworthy impact during the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (SMISS) Annual Forum in Las Vegas this September. In addition to three podium presentations and nine poster presentations, Dr. Singh showcased his expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery in front of a mixed audience of amateur and veteran spine surgeons.
The first podium compared the use of static and expandable interbody devices during minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS TLIF). The investigation explored improvements in radiographic and patient-reported outcomes following device implantation. Dr. Singh determined that although expandable devices resulted in greater improvements in disc height following surgery, there is not enough evidence to suggest the use of expandable devices over static devices due to overall similarities in radiographic and clinical outcomes.
Another one of Dr. Singh’s presentations focused on the application of local steroids during MIS TLIF. With a prospective, randomized, single-blind trial, Dr. Singh demonstrated that the use of local steroids does not decrease postoperative pain and narcotics consumption or result in improvement of long-term clinical outcomes. He established that intraoperative steroids may not provide added benefit in MIS TLIF as originally expected.
The last podium presentation discussed the association between conflicts of interest and research outcomes in the lumbar disc arthroplasty literature. Dr. Singh demonstrated that over half of the published articles covering lumbar disc arthroplasty have conflicts of interest directly related to the study itself, revealing the possibility of publication bias. He recommends that surgeons seeking to implement new devices into their practice should be cautious of studies in which investigators have disclosures directly related to the device manufacturer or no disclosures at all.
The Hospital to Outpatient Setting
After sharing his research efforts, Dr. Singh delineated his experience regarding the transition of his practice from the hospital to an outpatient setting. He provided insight to the learning curve of becoming a successful surgeon, not only from inside the operating room but also as an entrepreneur. Through his multiple on-stage appearances, Dr. Singh enlightened the audience on the ever-changing world of spine surgery during the SMISS Annual Forum. His research contributions continuously prove to be an impressive and growing force in the rapidly advancing field of minimally invasive spine surgery.