PIOA Spine module (12-16 September 2022) – Suva, Fiji

The lectures for the Spine modules were delivered by Dr David Bartle from Tauranga New Zealand, Dr Ian Cheung & Dr Des Soares from Brisbane & Dr Michelle Atkinson from Sydney, Australia, and Dr James Tewa’ani from Solomon Islands.

In the Spine module students were taught a systematic approach to history taking, clinical examination and investigation with a focus on common spine orthopedic conditions. The practical sessions were aimed at common spine management options including cervical & lumbar spondylosis and stabilisation and internal fixation of spine trauma. Small group workshops focused on using Gardner Wells tongs/ halo traction using a model.

Condom model for practicing dura repair

A novel condom model was used to practice dural repair. Sawbones were used to demonstarte pedicle scre placement and laminectomy / spinal decompression. Other practical sessions looked at rehabilitation for spinal patients and other malignancies that affect the spine.

Each morning we commenced with a ward round seeing two patients and getting the students to present the history and clinical signs of the patients. Their management was then discussed and suggestions for improvement were made. This was a useful exercise as we were able to improve clinical skills. It was also helpful to try and elucidate clinical reasoning and decision making and help with developing these skills. The students enjoyed having expert advice on the management of elective conditions and trauma affecting the spine.

At the end of the module the students’ knowledge was tested with a written paper examination.

Dinner at end of Spine module