5th Annual Advanced Lateral Approaches to the Spine

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Amir Abdul-Jabbar, MD
Course Co-Chair
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon
Swedish Neuroscience Institute.

A One-day Intensive Course on Advanced Lateral Approaches to the Spine

As technology changes, it is important to know the most up to date approaches and how to get the best patient outcomes. The lateral approach is a new technique, and with its popularization comes the need for instructional courses for both practicing and training surgeons.

 The featured course faculty have an immense amount of experience and focused on the lateral approach and the ways it has changed throughout the years. Those familiar with lateral interbody fusion can expand the role of the lateral approach from just fusions to corpectomy and reconstructions. Attendees were able to practice the techniques during a hands-on cadaver lab, making it accessible for those who are trying out the technique for the first time. 

This focused course boasted live demonstrations, lectures, and discourse with experienced surgeons specializing in the lateral approach. "The wealth of experience that the featured faculty have with lateral spine surgery," says spine surgeon, Dr. Amir Abdul-Jabbar, "bringing that all together is just incredible." 

Faculty such as Dr. Juan Uribe, co-chair, chief of the division of spinal disorders, Volker Sonntag chair of spine research, and vice chairman of neurosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute; Dr. Rod J. Oskouian Jr., chief of spine at Swedish Neuroscience Institute, and President and CEO of the Seattle Science Foundation; Dr. Richard A. Hynes, president, The B.A.C.K. Center; presented at this year’s course among many other leaders in the treatment of spinal conditions. 

Dr. Amir Abdul-Jabbar, Course Co-Chair and Featured Speaker

Dr. Amir Abdul-Jabbar is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Swedish Neuroscience Institute and the course co-chair and featured speaker at the 5thAnnual Advanced Lateral Approaches to the Spine. He presented on "The Role of the Anterior Column Reconstruction in Spine Surgery." 

Now a co-chair for the Advanced Lateral Approaches to the Spine course, Dr. Abdul-Jabbar attended the 2016 ONE Spine course as a resident at LSU Medical Center. As his first introduction to the courses at Seattle Science Foundation he was impressed by "how focused and specific [the course was] for people interested in becoming spine surgeons, and also valuable for people who have done surgery and want to be up to date on the most relevant literature and techniques." 

SSF hosts 14 courses annually, and Dr. Abdul-Jabbar both attends and speaks at the conferences because of what they offer to current and training surgeons, and because of the focus on improving patient care. "We are better trained and better prepared for the most challenging cases," said Dr. Abdul-Jabbar, "it is incredibly rare to have a facility that offers both courses geared toward early learners and people looking for specific and in-depth teaching on advanced spine and neurosurgical topics."

With the goal of improving patient care, Dr. Abdul-Jabbar's talk was not to be missed—discussing the importance of the anterior column spinal alignment in spine surgery, Dr. Abdul-Jabbar emphasized the anterior spinal column as the "basis of the structure of the spine and [that] by recreating the anterior column in cases where it has been compromised, it sets the foundation for appropriate anatomic reconstruction and appropriate balance and is correlated with the best patient outcomes."

Recorded Presentations

Visit us online at www.seattlesciencefoundation.tv to view all of the recorded presentations and surgical demonstrations.

5th Annual—A Tried and True Convention

Centering around the future of spine surgery, this symposium was created to focus on the application and hands-on implementation of the lateral approach to spine surgery. Now on its 5thyear, the Advanced Lateral Approaches to the Spine course hosts leading neuro and orthopedic surgeons to lecture, provide live demonstrations, and engage in discourse with current and training physicians who specialize in the surgical care of patients with spinal conditions in order to improve patient care and outcomes. 

Hosted at the Seattle Science Foundation, this educational course made use of the state-of-art bioskills lab and conference facility with views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountain Range. This course is made possible by the Seattle Science Foundation and Swedish Medical Center. 

Accreditation with Commendation 

The 5th Annual Advanced Lateral Approaches to the Spine was planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Swedish Medical Center and the Seattle Science Foundation. Swedish Medical Center is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(TM). 

Swedish Medical Center designates this live activity for a maximum of 10.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(TM).Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


Juan Uribe, MD, FAANS, course co-chair, is a chief of the division of spinal disorders, Volker Sonntag chair of spine research, and vice chairman of neurosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Uribe’s expertise includes the surgical treatment of scoliosis, spinal trauma, and spinal tumors, particularly with minimally invasive techniques. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, North American Spine Society, Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Society of Lateral Access Surgery, and Scoliosis Research Society.


Amir Abdul-Jabbar, MD, course co-chair, is an Orthopedic spine surgeon at Swedish Neuroscience Institute. He seeks to provide individualized care to each of his patients and works to integrate their personal, physical, and medical backgrounds to help patients achieve their health-care goals. Dr. Abdul-Jabbar is a member of the North American Spine Society and AO Spine.