AO Spine Knowledge Forum Degenerative

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


AO Spine 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

  • Do prophylactic antibiotics reach the operative site adequately?
    A quantitative analysis of serum and wound concentrations of systemic and local prophylactic antibiotics in spine surgery

    Principal investigator:
    Arun Kumar Viswanadha

    Co-Principal investigator:
    Naresh Babu J

    Aims to analyze serum and wound concentrations of antibiotics administered by two different routes i.e. systemic and intra wound application
  • Macrophage therapy for intervertebral disc herniation (McDISC)
    Principal investigator:
    Carla Cunha

    Co-Principal investigator:
    Susana G. Santos, Mário A. Barbosa, Paulo Pereira

    Aims to demonstrate and define the role of macrophages in hernia regression
  • Decay Variance
    A Novel MRI Tool for Quantifying Intervertebral Disc Degeneration in Low Back Pain

    Principal investigator:
    Kyle Sheldrick

    Co-Principal investigators:
    Ashish Diwan, Uphar Chamoli

    Aims to establish the normal values for human intervertebral discs using the Decay Variance technique and determine whether these values differ in people suffering chronic low back pain
  • AO Spine Rare Lumbar Complications (RLC)
    Incidence of Post-operative Rare Complications after Lumbar Spine Surgery: An AO Spine 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.

  • AO Spine 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 

  • * AO Spine 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:

    AOSpine Surgical Treatment of Lumbar Spondy (STL-Spondy)
    Patrick Hsieh and Michael Virk
    The goal is to investigate the difference in clinical outcomes of common surgical procedures for degenerative spondylolisthesis.

    AOSpine Interbody Materials for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (IM-ACDF)
    Hans Jörg Meisel and Amit Jain
    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. Identifier: NCT02802033

*  This AO Spine-sponsored study is executed with support from the AO Innovation Translation Center (AO ITC).


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

* This AO Spine-sponsored study is executed with support from AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation (AO CID).

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

Ashish Diwan

Ashish Diwan

University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Amit Jain

Amit Jain

Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, USA

KF Degenerative Associate Members

Viswanadha Arun Kumar, Mallika Spine Centre, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Giovanni Barbanti-Brodano, Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy
Zorica Buser, USC Spine Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Juan P. Cabrera, Hospital Clínico Regional de Concepción, Concepción, Chile
Samuel Cho, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Stipe Ćorluka, University Hospital Centre Sestre Milosrdnice, Zagreb, Croatia
Carla Cunha, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Porto, Portugal
Andreas Demetriades, Royal infirmary of Edinburgh Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
Nida Fatima, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Kazuhiro Hasegawa, Niigata Spine Surgery Center, Niigata, Japan
Patrick Hsieh, USC Spine Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Hyeun Sung Kim, Nanoori Hospital Gangnam, Gangnam, South Korea
Ronald Lehman, New York Presbyterian Och Spine Hospital, New York, NY, USA
Christopher Martin, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Steven Presciutti, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
Bangping Qian, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
Kyle Sheldrick, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Veranis Sotirios, General Air Force and Reserve Hospital, Athens, Greece
Gianluca Vadala, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Michael Virk, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA

Knowledge Forum Manager

Yabin Wu

Yabin Wu

Senior Project Manager

Other Knowledge Forums

KF Tumor

AO Spine KF Tumor

KF Deformity

AO Spine KF Deformity


AO Spine KF Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

KF Trauma

AO Spine KF Trauma

“The AO Spine 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

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.