Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.34.41 PMThis report was prepared by Lixiang Ding. He was granted with a 4-week fellowship (3 March 2014 – 28 March 2014) and trained under the supervision of Michael Janssen at The Spine Education and Research Institute, Denver, Colorado, USA.

My name is Lixiang Ding. I was granted with a four weeks fellowship and training under the supervison of Micheal Janssen in Denver, North American.

I visited Spine Education and Research Institute in Denver, United states as an AOSpine fellow from 3 March 2014 to 28 March 2014. After a long trip, I arrived at Denver. And I was well welcomed by the faculty of the spine center. They help me rent a very good apartment and help me finished all the hospital badge things. I participated in operations in the spinal disorder center, North suburban medical center, and St Anthony North Hospital. I was very busy every day. I could scrub in a lot of spine operations as either 1st or 2nd assistant and also could observe joint operations. Besides the operations, I also join in out-patient clinics and anatomy training. I join in many kinds of spinal surgeries including ACDF or ACDR for degenerative cervical spondylopathy, and ALIF or post fusion for lumbar spondylosis, degenerative scoliosis, and herniated disk. And I could train spinal surgical techniques and microscope techniques. They do a lot of minimal invasive operations. And they performed very fast. Especially, I was astonished that ACDF for 3 level fusions only in less than 2 hours. And I also join the operation of lateral fusion operation of lumbar spine. Dr. Janssen performed the osteotomy and spine deformity operation is perfect. Dr. Morreale performed cervical operation also is wonderful. I learn a lot from all of them. During the operation, they showed me the way they did the surgery. They told me the principles of the instrumentation of the spine, tips and tricks, and the risk and complication of the spinal operation. Pre-operative case discussions were the most helpful. We can discuss every possible situation of the surgical management and planned the appropriate operation. There is a very good library in the spinal center. I can read a lot of different kinds of orthopedics books. There also is a good anatomy lab in the center. At there, I join with a lots of high school students in anatomy class. When I want to observe the university hospital, Dr. Janssen helped me to join the university hospital operation and AOspine MIS spine training meeting. It’s a perfect experience for me to have such a good opportunity.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.34.54 PMThe staffs in the spine center and hospital are all very kinds and helpful. Almost every weekend, they host me like a family member. They gave me the chance to see the beauty of the city and joy the family life and help me shopping in different places. During the exploration of the city, I also got the chance to get along with other staff members. During the four weeks, I joined 2 meeting (Denver local orthopedics Winter meeting and AOSpine MIS spine training meeting).

Although it was only four weeks study abroad, I was very satisfied with this AOSpine fellowship. I hope I can have the chance to be a fellow again and made me to be a true spine surgeon. Thank AOSpine foundation. Thank all the staffs in Denver spinal center.

Source:; January 22, 2015