Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Spine Technology Awards Redux

Last night was a monumental moment for spine! The Spine Technology Awards came out of the womb after gestating in Robin Young for the last year. It was a long time to carry an award of that size, but Robin came through the delivery in a fine manner, and even looked great.

Is there a place for this type of ceremony in our industry? Absolutely! But, like most shows it will need some " major tweaking!" Considering that half the audience was gone midway through the program, changes will have to be effected. As usual, the "Crack Staff" at OTW will reconvene and figure it out. One question that TSB must ask is this another venue to provide companies within our industry a platform to sell their hardware and software?

A tribute was made to Charnley and Harrington, honoring their life-time contributions to the industry. Oh yes readers, the world has changed, considering fast-forward in "real-time," pioneering and prospecting is a thing of the past. Today, the industry moves faster than Chita Rivera's legs ever did. Besides, those early prospectors were not driven by today's declining U.S. dollar, and really did care about making a difference in patients lives. But that's not what today's blog is about.

Robin paid homage to the "Usual Suspects," many that are already known. Some awards went to Paradigm Spine DSS (surprised?) along with homage to the Vicogliosi's and Rudy Bertagnoli (my patients never complain about anything I implant). Alphatec and Healthpoint garnered two wins (another surprise?). Nuvasive PCM (Robin you're drinking too much expensive wine with Lukianov), while Paul McAfee was his usual pompous self giving his boy Brian Cunningham a shout out, Pioneer NUBAC (I believe that was the name, I was drinking) along with Hansen Yuan.

The most interesting award went to Applied Spine Technologies in the Motion Preservation Category for the StabilimaXX, a device that has had more failures than Robert Downey's drug rehab. Craig "lose the pink tie" Corrance was on hand to accept the award with former lead engineer JP "I bailed on AST in the middle of all the failures" Timms. At least Timms had the decency to acknowledge Professor Panjabi, PhD who should have gotten a life-time achievement award for his contributions in the field of spine biomechanics, instead of an award for a product that has not ever had a "whiff" of success.

Additionally, recognition must be given to Mike Sherman formerly of Sofamor Danek fame, now with MD Ventures, for being our entertainment for the evening having nodded off in the middle of the show. Thankfully, his hair covered his eyes, and if his head wasn't bobbing up and down, we would've never known he was asleep. In closing, TSB must admit, if I did a shot of tequila every time I heard Robin use the words "Innovative" or "Innovation," I would have passed out just like Sherman. And one final acknowledgement must be given to Matt (I need a win) Songer for submitting the most nominations on behalf of Pioneer Surgical.

TSB believes that if there is an awards show next year many things will have to change, so I am off to my room to digest the information packet and review the other winners. See you on the floor on Wednesday, I'm off to Sonoma and Napa on Tuesday for a day of drinking wine.


  1. Someone needs to explain how AST won an award for such a POS product! This puts a huge shadow on the awards show in my estimation...

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