Winter Clinics stretches the possibilities of elite neurosurgical care

The 2024 Winter Clinics included more than 170 attendees and faculty, including neurosurgeons and other providers from around the country.

From highlighting ways to improve outcomes after revision spine surgery, to best practices in building a lateral skull base brain tumor practice, to using physical therapy to strengthen adjacent muscles and prevent degeneration of the lumbar spine, this year's Winter Clinics for Cranial & Spinal Surgery helped expand the potential of neurosurgical treatment for patients – today and in the future.

Dr. Bryan Krueger presents at Winter Clinics.

This was the 32nd year for the elite neurosurgical education event, presented by the Mayfield Clinic and a host of prestigious collaborators, including Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Goodman Campbell Brain & Spine, and jointly provided by the American Association of Neurological Surgery. Held in Snowmass Village, Colo., this year's Winter Clinics included more than 170 attendees and faculty, including neurosurgeons and other providers from around the country, plus more than 60 representatives of 22 industry collaborators.

"The future of neurosurgery depends on constantly stretching the boundaries of clinical care, driven by leading-edge research," said Dr. William Tobler, a Mayfield Brain & Spine neurosurgeon and longtime board chair of the Mayfield Education & Research Foundation. "When we gather our discipline's most innovative minds and most talented clinicians, we can identify pathways to tools and techniques that might not even exist today, or are not used to their full potential. This is our noble cause, and we won't stop pursuing it."

Next year's Winter Clinics is already scheduled for February 23-27, 2025. Keep an eye on for details.

The poster presentation winner was Dr. Michael Martini of the Mayo Clinic.

Highlights of Winter Clinics 2024 included:

  • An increased role for services including physical therapy. Mayfield physical therapist Megan Connett presented and led a discussion on "Physical therapy's role in strengthening lumbar multifidi to prevent adjacent segment degeneration."
  • An expanding set of concurrent tracks targeting advanced practice providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants. For example, Mayfield nurse practitioner Jody Beckington moderated a session including presentations on "Sagittal imbalance" and "Metastatic disease to the spine: Workup and treatment considerations."
  • The role of artificial intelligence was the focus of several talks, including "AI's role in deformity correction planning" from Mayfield neurosurgeon Dr. Bryan Krueger.
  • This year's event was the second to include research presentations from a growing group of neurosurgery residents and medical students. The podium presentation winner was Dr. Josephine Volovetz of the Cleveland Clinic, speaking on "Predictors of Survival after Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma." Also recognized for their podium presentations were Dr. Arpan Patel of the Cleveland Clinic and Michael Visconti of Goodman Campbell.
  • The poster presentation winner was Dr. Michael Martini of the Mayo Clinic, with a presentation titled, "Opportunistic CT-Based Hounsfield Units Strongly Correlate with Biomechanical CT Measurements in the Thoracolumbar Spine."
  • Dr. Allan Hamilton, professor of neurosurgery and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Arizona, presented "How to Survive and Thrive in Neurosurgery Residency" to about 25 residents, fellows and attending physicians.

"The broad spectrum of programming stamps the Winter Clinics as a premier education event," Dr. Tobler said. "It's just one of the ways Mayfield extends our legacy as a national leader in elite neurosurgical care."

Cliff Peale, Senior Writer/Media Relations Specialist
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