Spine Society is a group of specialists with an interest in the spine. The meeting seemed to be primarily attended by spinal orthopaedic and neurosurgeons with a (very) few other discipiplines as well. I met only one other physiotherapist (from Perth) and Jeb was there too. I met quite a few of the surgeons and introduced myself as a physiotherapist from Sydney with a special interest in spine. I didn’t go into discussion of conservative management of scoliosis as I dont think they or I are ready for this talk. I suspect that any discussion right now would be premature and I dont want to be viewed as some “nutcase” who is trying to convince their patients not to have surgery when it is required.  I had an interesting chat to the technical team at Medtronics about surgical implants will hopefully be able to spend some time with them this year so I can more clearly understand the surgical side of things. Spinal surgeons seem to differentiate themselves into either deformity surgeons or degenerative surgeons, but many will do both.  They have many different approaches to conducting their surgery and this particular conference had a strong focus on minimally invasive surgery (MIS).  This type of surgery is performed with small incisions and complex instrumentation to view and correct the pathology.  There was strong debate on the merits of MIS and whether these outweighed the risks of this type of surgery. Howevery everyone seemed to agree that there is a steep learning curve to performing this type of surgery. Failure of conservative (eg. physiotherapy)  treatment was indicated as a reason for surgical intervention in degenerative spines but not mentioned in deformity cases.  There was no mention of any specific physiotherapy treatment post -op for deformity or degenerative surgery; although we often see post-op degenerative spine patients. Dr William Sears presented some very interesting work on saggital balance and the way the body compensates posturaly for these imbalances.  I asked him if he thought it would be possible to train these beneficial compensatory mechanics or untrain the detrimental mechanics, which he said was a very good question. We agreed that I would call him in the next few weeks / months and meet up for a chat. In the interim…  next stop Milan 2012.]]>

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Larry is a highly skilled physiotherapist who specialises in treating back and neck pain, postural issues and scoliosis. He is certified in Schroth and SEAS methods and through the Egoscue University. Larry has a background in elite gymnastics and springboard diving and also has many years experience in endurance running and triathlons. His specialist knowledge and techniques have seen him appointed as a gymnastics coach and physiotherapist at both the Olympics Games and Special Olympics.

His passion and driving philosophy is about achieving the best outcomes for his patients utilising an amalgam of the latest techniques and theories while recognising there may sometimes be a need for invasive procedures. Where deemed appropriate Larry will then refer to a specialist. To further his holistic understanding and approach, Larry is currently undertaking a Ph.D. in Spinal Deformity and regularly attends and speaks at international conferences and courses and clinics.

Fun fact: Larry is learning how to surf - so be careful next time you go to the beach! Qualifications: B.Sc (Physiotherapy); M.Sc. (Exercise Physiology); Advanced Certificates in Schroth (BSPTS) and Egoscue (PAS) and SEAS Larry is Level II certified (advanced) in the conservative treatment of Scoliosis based on the Schroth method. The training was conducted by Dr Manuel Rigo of the Barcelona School at Scoliosis Rehab Inc in Wisconsin. He has completed his SEAS scoliosis treatment training at ISICO in Milan. Larry has also spent time working with Dr Rigo in the Barcelona clinic. Larry also has advanced certificates in shoulder treatment, posture alignment therapy and acupuncture.