Case Debate Series

Learn from your peers as they go head-to-head, sharing their philosophies of procedural approaches and the application of technology. New debates and topics will be launched each week.

Upcoming debates    COVID-19 resources


Interbody fusion devices: Selection of materials/technologies in cervical and lumbar fusions

In this debate, you will hear from Dr. Jay Turner, neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute, who will be taking the side of porous PEEK, and Dr. Mark Wang, orthopedic surgeon at the Spine Institute of Arizona, who will be taking the side of porous titanium. Dr. Turner and Dr. Wang discuss material chemistry, surface architecture, and the selection of advanced surface technologies through their review of cervical and lumbar cases.

Thoracolumbar procedures: Open TLIF vs. MIS TLIF

In this debate, you will hear from Dr. David Okonkwo, neurosurgeon at University Pittsburgh Medical Center, who will be taking the side of Open TLIF, and Dr. Aaron Clark, neurosurgeon at UCSF Health, who will be taking the side of MIS TLIF. Leveraging their training and experience, Dr. Okonkwo and Dr. Clark review three different cases, discussing patient considerations and treatment options from their respective approaches.

Flipping ALIF on its side: Technique, best practices and access at L4-L5

In this debate, you will hear from Dr. Venita Chandra, vascular surgeon at Stanford Health Care, and Dr. Lenny Stubbs, vascular surgeon at Oklahoma Heart Hospital. Both surgeons have extensive experience in anterior column spinal access from the supine and lateral positions (XALIF). Topics covered include access considerations and best practices for ALIF approaches at L5-S1, the importance of partnership between spine and access surgeons, the associated learning curve for XALIF, and a debate on ALIF access at L4-L5.

Anterior cervical surgery—Why change?

In this debate, you will hear from Dr. Rick Sasso, Dr. Chris Shaffrey, and Dr. Reg Haid who have extensive experience in both developing and operating with a variety of cervical spine systems. Answering the question “Why change?”, topics covered include the history of anterior cervical surgery from the first anterior plates to design lessons learned over the years, as well as the challenges that still exist today and what is still needed to advance care in cervical surgery.

Thoracolumbar procedures: direct vs. indirect decompression

In this debate, you will hear from Dr. Raymond J. Hah, orthopedic surgeon at Keck Medical Center of USC, who will be taking the side of direct decompression in thoracolumbar procedures, and Dr. J. Alex Thomas, neurosurgeon at Atlantic Neurosurgical and Spine Specialists, who will be taking the side of the indirect decompression.

Complex spine: distributed loading technique

In this 25-minute debate, you will hear from Dr. Tempel, neurosurgeon at Mayfield Brain and Spine, who will be taking the side of the intraoperative rod technique, highlighting material selection and construct configuration for complex spine pathologies. Dr. Mullin, neurosurgeon at University at Buffalo Neurosurgery, will be taking the side of load distribution tethers, highlighting the intraoperative weave technique for the same patient pathologies.

Thoracolumbar procedures: anterior vs. posterior

In this 30-minute debate, you will hear from Dr. Laratta, orthopedic surgeon at Norton Letterman Spine Center, who will be taking the side of the anterior-approach, highlighting minimally invasive anterior based surgery for adult degenerative scoliosis patients, and Dr. Buchholz, neurosurgeon at University of Virginia, who will be taking the side of the posterior approach, highlighting posterior-only surgery for the same patient population.

These presentations have been created to further clinical education and development amongst surgeons involving the cleared indications for use for products which are designed, developed and marketed by NuVasive. Any additional information and/or discussion of indications that are not cleared by the FDA is strictly prohibited. Any off label use discussion is not endorsed by NuVasive, nor does NuVasive represent that risks have been evaluated for such uses. An individual’s surgical procedure and recovery may deviate from what is described herein. Each case is unique and has its own independent considerations. As with all prescriptive medical devices, the user should also refer to the Instructions for Use before use of any NuVasive device.