Mayfield Clinic's William Tobler, MD, presented on minimally invasive fusion of the lumbar spine at spine surgery course in London

CINCINNATI – William Tobler, MD, a Mayfield Clinic neurosurgeon specializing in spinal disorders, was an invited speaker at The 16th Annual London Imperial Spine Course, Savoy Place, London, March 1-3, 2010. Dr. Tobler was one of 41 speakers and the only U.S. physician presenting.

Dr. Tobler presented on minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion using Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion, or AxiaLIF®. Since he began using AxiaLIF almost five years ago, Dr. Tobler has performed nearly 300 AxiaLIF procedures. Worldwide, more than 8,600 cases have been performed.

The AxiaLIF procedures are the least invasive approach to the lumbosacral region, which includes two vertebrae (L4 and L5) of the lower (lumbar) spinal column and the first vertebra (S1) of the sacrum (tailbone). The procedures, which require an incision of less than one inch near the top of the buttock and which utilize long, narrow instruments, are designed to fixate the lower spine in patients who suffer from degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis.

The single- and two-level procedures were developed by TranS1, Inc., a medical device firm based in Wilmington, N.C. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the single-level procedure for L5-S1 in 2004. In April 2008 TranS1 received clearance to market AxiaLIF 2L™, its two-level percutaneous lumbar fusion system, in the United States. The two-level fusion is designed to treat degenerative disc disease at both the L5-S1 and L4-L5 lumbar discs through a single incision of less than one inch.

The Annual London Imperial Spine Course, previously known as The Hammersmith Spine Course, is an international course in spinal surgery for trainees, consultants and industry scientists. Sixty consultants and trainees attended the course, which covered spine pathology and common clinical conditions, expert surgical techniques and advances in spinal surgery. This year’s course was organized by the Department of Orthopaedic Spinal Surgery, Imperial College, London, and accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England with 17 CPD points.

In addition to his clinical practice with the Mayfield Clinic, Dr. Tobler is president of the Mayfield Clinic Spine Surgery Center, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, member of the UC Neuroscience Institute, and Director of Neurosurgery for The Christ Hospital. He has led training sessions about the AxiaLIF procedure in the U.S. and abroad in Spain, Austria, Greece, Germany, England and Wales. He will present at the Slovenian Spine Society in early April.

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The Mayfield Clinic is recognized as one of the nation's leading physician organizations for clinical care, education, and research of the spine and brain. Supported by 20 neurosurgeons, five neurointensivists, an interventional radiologist, and a pain specialist, the Clinic treats 25,000 patients from 35 states and 13 countries in a typical year. Mayfield's physicians have pioneered surgical procedures and instrumentation that have revolutionized the medical art of neurosurgery for brain tumors and neurovascular diseases and disorders.

William Tobler, MD