Governor Christie's State of New Jersey Continues to be the Frontline for The Spine Turf Wars

Jun 26, 2013, 08:30 ET from SASI

NEWARK, N.J., June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Court testimony delivered over two days of hearings in New Jersey vs. Dr. Richard Kaul has helped to clarify the essential elements of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS), the impact of which will be felt globally across the entire medical field, experts say.

(Photo: )

Solomon Kamson, MD PhD, testifying June 17-18 on behalf of Dr. Kaul, provided an authoritative set of criteria — dubbed the "Rule of Five" — in an effort to clarify the specialty Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS). Dr. Kamson, president of The Society for Advanced Spinal Intervention (SASI), was asked by the court to describe the generally accepted components of MISS and to further elucidate the key elements that SASI has embraced. His testimony — now established as a matter of public record —appears below.

Definition of MISS
"Rule of Five"

1.  Fluoroscopic guidance and interpretation.
2.  Minimal muscle dissection.
3.  Must qualify for outpatient.
4.  Minimal blood loss (150 cc).
5.  Time from completion of surgery to discharge of less than 12 hours.

"This proposed definition of minimally invasive spine surgery is a groundbreaking first step with profound ramifications for the medical community, in addition to the formulation of healthcare policy, laws and regulations," says Dr. Kamson. "SASI has expounded upon fundamental elements for contemporary practice of MISS, as part of a broader effort to clarify well established techniques. Such standards are badly needed, not only for health policy in the United States, but globally. That's why this case is of immense interest to SASI, and part of the reason why I traveled across the country to testify on behalf of my colleagues."

Dr. Kamson added that SASI is committed to working with other societies and organizations to promote better understanding, training, proctoring and credentialing of future generation of talented MIS surgeons. SASI and its network of member physicians are actively monitoring developments in the landmark court case, which is ongoing.

New Jersey vs. Dr. Richard Kaul is at the center of a legal battle between "traditional" spine surgeons, who perform inpatient, open-back surgery in hospitals, and physicians such as Dr. Kaul, who perform outpatient, laser-assisted procedures in clinics and other ambulatory care settings. Known collectively as the "Spine Turf Wars," the battle has given rise to a plethora of lawsuits over what constitutes safe, effective standards and practice of medicine related to surgical treatment of back and neck pain.

"Minimally invasive spine surgery — not my client — is what is really on trial in New Jersey," says Charles Shaw, Esq., defense attorney for Dr. Kaul.

"The outcome of this case will have significant ramifications in the medical and legal practice concerning MISS well into the future."

About the Society for Advanced Spinal Intervention
The Society for Advanced Spinal Intervention (SASI) is a unifying global society whose mission is to educate, train, and credential physicians from multidisciplinary backgrounds on a worldwide scale. Focused on the implementation of a cost-effective healthcare delivery model for interventional pain medicine, interventional radiology, neurosurgery, and orthopedic spine surgery, SASI aims to develop and implement a world-class program of education and training resulting in accreditation that will serve as the "gold standard" for physicians in the field of spinal intervention.

For Further Information:
Tameh Rohani +1 917.488.7124