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Module 1: Basic Comprehensive Course


Philip J. Sell
United Kingdom

Lead Reviewer

Alberto Zerbi

Module 1 Learning Outcomes

Session 1: Spine, the Bigger Picture

Evidence Based Medicine
  • Rank levels of evidence
  • Define the needs of individual patients in the context of EBM
  • Explain the risk of bias
  • Justify the role of EBM, guidelines and registries

Epidemiology & Economics
  • Quantify the problem of back pain in society
  • Propose a strategy to reduce the problem
  • Explain research definitions of back pain and study methodology

Ergonomics & Psychosocial
  • Describe the impact of media and society on beliefs of patients
  • Separate myth from knowledge in the relationship between disease and disability
  • Anticipate obstacles to recovery
  • Explain the role of manual handling and workplace factors in spinal disability

Session 2: The Functional Spine

  • Outline loads in different positions of the spine
  • Explain how loading changes with age and pathology
  • Describe the basic principles of biomaterials and biocompatibility

  • Explain risks of exposure to radiation and minimize risks for patients and staff
  • Justify the role of the team in evaluating radiological requests and investigations
  • Select the most appropriate investigations in spinal disorders

The Young Spine
  • Describe growth of the spine and growth velocity
  • Define specific trauma related factors in the child

The Old Spine
  • Identify common disorders in elderly patients
  • Explain the natural history and treatment of fragility fractures of the spine
  • Describe the impact of age and co-morbidity on risk assessment and patient safety

Session 3: Clinical Evaluation

Case Discussion
  • Use clinical information to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan

Recognising Serious Spine Disorders: red flags
  • Link clinical scenarios to serious spine disorders
  • Teach non-spine specialists to recognise serious spine disorders

Communication Skills
  • Identify actual and potential communication problems within their own practice
  • Assess own strengths and weaknesses in communicating with patients, their families and other team members.

Top Tips Clinical Examination
  • Select appropriate clinical tests for a clinical situation
  • Perform a safe and effective clinical examination

Safety & Ethics
  • Apply an ethical framework to critical thinking
  • Formulate principles of informed consent
  • Evaluate organizational and personal factors involved in patient safety
  • Identify non-technical aspects of safe surgery

Session 4: Emergencies

Trauma. Evaluation. Transport
  • Recognise and document details of a spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • Plan transport, investigation and treatment of a patient with a spinal cord injury
  • Anticipate potential complications and how to avoid them
  • Plan a simple rehabilitation programme for a patient with SCI

Acute Cord Compression
  • Recognise and investigate a progressive neurological spinal problem
  • Formulate a plan for the pre surgical management of metastatic cord compression
  • Outline the common causes and treatments of acute cord compression

Cauda Equina Syndrome
  • Explain the impact on the patient of cauda equina syndrome (CES)
  • Justify the difficulties in timing diagnosis and treatment

Systemic Disease & the Spine
  • Recognise the importance of teamwork and appropriate involvement of others
  • Anticipate common pitfalls in diagnosis of spinal disorders
  • Describe systemic conditions associated with spinal disease

Case Discussion
  • Interpret clinical information to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan

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