AOSpine Knowledge Forum Degenerative

Helping surgeons to make the best choice—increasing awareness of evidence


AOSpine KF Degenerative is working on exciting and innovative projects to understand and treat degenerative spinal disorders. They have ongoing projects on classifying and refining best uses of biologics in spine and on clinical questions regarding the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

They are welcoming members that are interested in any of their ongoing projects.

Ongoing research projects

  • AOSpine Rare Lumbar Complications (RLC)
    Incidence of Post-operative Rare Complications after Lumbar Spine Surgery: An AOSpine Multicenter retrospective study

    Principal investigator:
    Jeffrey Wang

    Co-Principal investigators:

    Zorica Buser, Christopher Martin

    The purpose of this retrospective multicenter case series is to identify the incidence of specific rare lumbar spine complications, associated risk factors, as well as outcomes and treatments of those complications. The findings will help with treatment planning and patient counseling. In addition, this study will be used as a research training platform for young surgeons and fellows.

  • AOSpine Osteobiologics Classification

    Principal investigator:
    Tim Yoon

    Co-Principal investigators:
    Zorica Buser

    Aims to develop a framework to evaluate the level of evidence supporting the use of bone grafts. It will help surgeons to understand the quality of the information that is provided for each product used 

  • AOSpine DegenPRO
    Prospective international multicenter registry about surgical treatment of degenerative spine conditions and the use of osteobiologics

    Principal investigator:
    S. Tim Yoon

    Co-Principal investigator:
    Jeffrey Wang 

    The aim is to better understand degenerative spinal disorders and what kind of biologics are used in degenerative cases by assessing their effectiveness in terms of patient-reported outcomes, complications, and fusion rates.

    Specific Topics:

    Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Surgical Technique (investigators Patrick Hsieh and Michael Virk)
    The goal is to investigate the difference in clinical outcomes of common surgical procedures for degenerative spondylolisthesis.

    Grafts in ACDF (investigator Amit Jain and Hans Jörg Meisel)
    The goal is to understand and compare structural allograft vs. PEEK-based interbody devices in the anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedure with respect to fusion rates, rates of secondary surgery, and patient-reported outcomes.

Completed research projects

  • Biologics Health Technology Assessment

    Health technology assessment (HTA) on biologics in spine surgery

    Principal investigator:
    All steering committee members

    Aimed to perform three systematic reviews to assess the efficacy and safety of: 

    • ICBG compared with other types of autograft; 
    • allograft compared with all other types of graft; 
    • DBM compared with autograft, allograft or other bone graft substitutes in cervical and thoracolumbar fusion;
    • and the use of stem cells in spine degenerative conditions.


    Publication summary
  • Biologics Retrospective

    Insurance database

    Principal investigator:
    Jeffrey Wang

    Aimed to mine large databases of HIPAA-compliant orthopedic and non-orthopedic records that contain charging, reimbursement, cost, diagnosis, procedure, hospital, patient demographic, and co-morbidity data, and other related data that enables us to evaluate the costs and care patterns for health care services: evaluation of the trends, complications, and costs associated with the use of biologics in spine surgery

    Publication summary

  • ACDF Survey

    Survey on the current use of structural and non-structural graft materials among spine surgeons worldwide

    Principal investigator:
    S. Tim Yoon

    Aim was to learn what kind of graft materials spine surgeons around the world use generally for their ACDF procedures

    Publication summary

KF Degenerative steering committee

S. Tim Yoon

Emory University 
Atlanta, USA

Jeffrey C. Wang

Past Chairperson 
USC Spine Center 
Los Angeles, USA

Hans Jörg Meisel

BG-Clinic Bergmannstrost 
Halle, Germany

KF Degenerative Associate Members

Darrel Brodke, USA
Zorica Buser, USA
Patrick Hsieh, USA
Jim Youssef, USA
Amit Jain, USA
Christopher Martin, USA

Knowledge Forum Manager

Yabin Wu

Yabin Wu

Research Project Manager

Other Knowledge Forums

KF Tumor

AOSpine KF Tumor

KF Deformity

AOSpine KF Deformity


AOSpine KF Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

KF Trauma

AOSpine KF Trauma

“The AOSpine Knowledge Forum Degenerative is entering an expansion phase. We welcome members to apply for associate membership to join our studies and research topics.”

S. Tim Yoon, Chairperson KF Degenerative, Research Commission member

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